Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. It is a debilitating disease with varied etiology characterized by rapidly progressive weakness, muscle atrophy and fasciculations, muscle spasticity, difficulty speaking, difficulty swallowing, and difficulty breathing.

Most people who develop ALS are between the ages of 40 and 70, with an average age of 55 at the time of diagnosis.

Symptoms:

Initial Symptoms - The earliest symptoms of ALS are typically obvious weakness and/or muscle atrophy. Overtime, patients experience increasing difficulty moving, swallowing, and speaking or forming words.

Disease progression - Although the order and rate of symptoms varies from person to person, eventually most patients are not able to walk, get out of bed on their own, or use their hands and arms. Disease progression tends to be slower in patients who are younger than 40 at onset.

Late stage - In later stages of disease, respiratory complications arise and patients have difficulty in swallowing and breathing. Patients further develop pneumonia. They need hospice care at this stage of the disease.

 

Treatment:

Following approaches are important in treatment of ALS.

Slowing progression

Disease management
Physical, occupational and speech therapy
Feeding and nutrition
Breathing support
Palliative care

Facts you should know about ALS

ALS is not contagious.

ALS onset is insidious with muscle weakness or stiffness as an early symptom. It is a progressive disease.

ALS occurs across all racial, ethnic and socio-economic boundaries.

There are several known hereditary factors that cause familial ALS. Genes such as SOD1 (Super Oxide Dismutase) has been associated with approximately 20% of the familial cases.

Rilutek, the first treatment to alter the course of ALS, was approved by the FDA in late 1995. This antiglutamate drug was shown scientifically to prolong the life of persons with ALS.

There is no cure for ALS as we know it. Although lot of research is going on currently.

About 20% of people with ALS live for five years or more with the disease.

The incidence of ALS is two per 100,000.

Most people who develop ALS are between the ages of 40 and 70, with an average age of 55 at the time of diagnosis.

About 24 Hours Care

24 HOURS CARE recognizes the importance of offering quality care services to the elderly and those who have special needs.
We provide professional home health care and are committed to holistic approach in responding to the needs of senior citizens and physically challenged individuals
We are thankful for their contributions and believe that it is our turn to respectfully offer the care and compassionate services they richly deserve.

About Laura Emerhi

Laura is a registered Nurse in Massachusetts, CPR, Telemetry Certification, Certified Nursing Assistan and Physical Therapist in Lithuania. She has been working for over 10 years with never ending passion to make a difference in clients life, see client change and grow in a positive manner. She says "I love working at 24 Hours Care and Xpress Healthcare Staffing delivering compassionate quality care and I am amazed by the power of personal relationships between me and client. Sometimes it comes easy but sometimes it requires persistent hard work Perseverance with Compassion...everything is possible. I speak Lithuanian & Russian.

 

Important links about ALS:

The ALS Association (800) 782-4747 http://www.alsa.org/

http://www.alsa.org/als-care/resources/

www.alsforums.com/

www.bruceedwardsfoundation.org

Pulmonary disease management—including patients with TRACHEOSTOMY MECHANICAL INHALATION AND EXHALATION (MIE) PROCEDURE Falls/

  • Balance management
  • Continence management
  • Physical activity management

Nutrition management - We make sure patient receives proper nutrition and hydration

  • Medicine delivery management

Massage therapy - Massage benefits patients on all levels to restore the body and refresh the mind.

  • Looking after the patient comfort
  • Exercise regimen to maintain the physical activity.
  • Providing 24 hours care to ensure well being of the patient

24 Hours Care Difference:

Compassionate professionals work with patients on a day-to-day basis to help keep their home environment clean, safe and embracing an emerging model of care that allows many elderly or patients with chronic illnesses remain in their homes and still receive the medical and social services available in institutions. We provide therapeutic activities programs assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) specialized activities for the cognitively impaired coordinated hospice care certified and experienced staff member will follow up with the patient and family to ensure satisfaction. competent, compassionate care to provide comfort for patients.