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Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a disorder with devastating consequences, especially given its detrimental effects on survival, functioning, and quality of life (QoL). The magnitude of the problem is also reflected by the emotional, mental, and physical stress put on caregivers. Even though ALS is ultimately fatal, advances in holistic care have substantially improved management of physical, psychological, and social symptoms. Because they may encounter clients with ALS, Speech–Language pathologists need to know about this disorder. This entry describes ALS, discusses symptoms and diagnosis of the disease, and explains the multidisclipinary team approach in managing ALS, with a focus on the role of Speech–Language pathologists.

Charles Bell in 1824 was the first person reporting the condition, and Charcot in 1874 first introduced ...

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