Rehabilitation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Why it matters

Authors

  • Salony Majmudar MD,

    1. Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
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  • Jason Wu MD,

    1. Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
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  • Sabrina Paganoni MD, PD

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
    2. Neurological Clinical Research Institute (NCRI), Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
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  • This study was supported by a Career Development Award (2K12HD001097-16 to S.P.) from the National Institutes of Health.

ABSTRACT

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that results in a constellation of problematic symptoms and a high patient and caregiver burden. Multidisciplinary care includes rehabilitation interventions that have the goal of assisting people to teach their fullest potential despite the presence of a disabling disease. Given the progressive nature of ALS, the clinician must be aware of the expected disease trajectory and apply appropriate interventions at each stage. This review will present rehabilitation strategies that can be utilized to maximize patient independence, function, safety, and quality of life, and to minimize disease-related symptoms. The role of bracing, exercise, assistive devices, and adaptive equipment will be discussed. At each disease stage, an experienced rehabilitation team is well positioned to make a significant impact on the life of ALS patients. Muscle Nerve 50: 4–13, 2014

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