Archive for June 2013

Measuring lung function – spirometry

By Lee Guion, MA, RRT, FAARC Neurorespiratory Clinical Specialist Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) measure lung muscle strength and overall function. Lung function should be assessed at each clinic visit as part of an overall disease management strategy. Test results are used to determine need for breathing assistance […]

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Interpreting lung function tests

By Lee Guion, MA, RRT, FAARC Neurorespiratory Clinical Specialist After each exhalation is measured by the spirometer, your results will be compared to “normal” or “predicted” values and expressed as a percentage of predicted (FVC %, FEV1 %). These reference values come from a large national database […]

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Why all the swelling?

Why all the swelling?

By Bob Osborn, RN One of the most common problems that affects people with motor neuron diseases is called dependent edema. This is swelling of the hands and feet which gradually extends upwards into the arms and legs.  This is caused because veins depend on muscle movement […]

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My Top 5 Switches for ALS

My Top 5 Switches for ALS

            For an article on the very important uses of switches for pALS please visit the Praactical AAC Website.

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How the lungs work

    By Lee Guion MA, RRT, FAARC Neurorespiratory Clinical Specialist ALS affects the mechanical function of the lungs. The major muscles of breathing are the diaphragm (which does most of the work), the intercostal muscles (those between the ribs), and abdominal muscles (necessary for coughing). The lungs […]

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Is This Depression?

Is This Depression?

By Susan Woolley, Ph.D. Neuropsychologist. It is common for pALS to feel depressed around the time of diagnosis.  For most pALS however, time helps to reduce depressive feelings.  Caregivers can also suffer from feelings of depression or anxiety.  How do you know when you need help in […]

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