UK Chief Investigator

Professor Christopher McDermott

Research summary

The purpose of this study is to test a support package (the ‘OptiCALS’ intervention) designed to improve nutritional management for people living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as motor neurone disease.

Little is currently known regarding how food intake affects ALS and there is a lack of guidance for patients and healthcare professionals on weight and nutrition in ALS. Evidence from small studies suggests better nutrition helps people with ALS live for longer. In light of this, we have designed a web portal called OptiCALS that people with ALS can use. The OptiCALS intervention has been designed to help people with ALS receive the best diet at the most appropriate time, in the most cost-effective manner. The package will include a range of materials including videos, information, advice and interactive tools designed to assist people with ALS to optimise their nutrition. This will be provided alongside support from a healthcare professional. We will test if using OptiCALS helps people with ALS live for longer than those who do not use OptiCALS.

Current status

Active – recruiting

Recruitment groups

Participant groups:

Recruitment targets

Click here to see how many participants have been recruited into this study to date (external link to the NIHR public study search) 


Information about study sites

Key dates

Recruitment open date: 10 August 2021

Planned recruitment end date: 31 December 2023

Inclusion / exclusion criteria

Inclusion criteria

Exclusion criteria


National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)


The University of Sheffield