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ALS/Motor Neurologic Disorder Paper

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Neurologic Disorders Kiersten Pope ALS/Motor Neuron Disease Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive disease that affects motor control and muscle function. Although there are semi-predictable symptoms that will occur as the disease continues, what an individual patient will experience may be highly variable. There are also variants of the disease that affect symptoms and life expectancy. Early symptoms include muscle weakness and stiffness, leading to a diagnosis by a physician. Over time, as the muscles deteriorate, the patient can expect to experience loss of ability to walk, dress, write, speak, and swallow. Patients experiences atrophy or paralysis of accessory muscles, leading to the…show more content…
Drug therapy can help to slow the progression somewhat or to manage symptoms. Riluzole is one drug approved for ALS which slows the progression temporarily, buying the patient more time during the high functioning stages of the disease. Parkinson’s Disease Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a slowly progressing neurologic disorder that affects the brain’s ability to regulate motor function. Most patients are able to live for years with the disease. Although there is no available cure for PD, patients are typically successful in managing symptoms and maintaining a good quality of life. Symptoms of PD are categorized into motor and non-motor areas. Motor symptoms include slowness of movement (bradykinesia), tremor at rest, stiffness in limbs and abdomen, and difficulty with balance. More minor motor symptoms could be small handwriting, shuffled walk, loss of facial expression, and decreased ability in automatic reflexes. Non-motor symptoms include mood disorders, cognitive changes, hallucinations/delusions, constipation, pain, fatigue, vision problems, reduced sensation of smell, and impulsive control…show more content…
Caregivers have to learn to adapt to the progressing symptoms. Non-motor symptoms, especially those associated with mood and cognition can be especially difficult for caregivers and family members to navigate, requiring additional patience and understanding. Parkinson’s psychosis can occur, especially if the patient is participating in dopamine therapy. It is essential for patients and their loved ones and their healthcare professionals to maintain open channels of communication so that these symptoms can be alleviated, or addressed in the most emotionally healthy way for all involved. Multiple Sclerosis: Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a widely unpredictable disorder, and patients experience a variety of symptoms. Commonly symptoms are experienced as “flare-ups” that can occur over the course of days, months or even extending over years. The most common symptoms include: fatigue, numbness, weakness, walking difficulties, muscle spasms, dizziness, vision problems, sexual problems, pain, urinary and bowel problems and emotional/mental difficulties such as depression and changes in cognition. Clearly these symptoms cover a wide range of physical, mental and emotional functions, so the combination of these experiences depends on the individual
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