Dr. Zachary Simmons’ primary research focus is on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease). He has published extensively on quality of life in ALS and was the co-developer of the ALS Specific Quality of Life Instrument. Related to this, he has published on ethics of care and end-of-life issues.
Telemedicine, including both synchronous videoconferencing and asynchronous remote monitoring initiatives, are being pursued in collaboration with colleagues in engineering and in speech and communications. These include initiatives in home pulmonary function testing, monitoring of gait and falls and monitoring of speech and swallowing.
Cognitive and behavioral dysfunction in ALS are other active areas of Dr. Simmons’ research, including the use of an instrument to measure apathy and the study of a mindfulness program to improve quality of life and to decrease anxiety and depression.
Dr. Simmons is also actively involved in ALS clinical trials, and has served as the site principal investigator for many studies during the past two decades.