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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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The Breath Stacking Technique

The Breath Stacking Technique

By Lee Guion, M.A., Neurorespiratory Therapist.   Breath Stacking is a technique that some patients at our clinic find beneficial especially if started early. It is simple and can be done without any equipment. By fully and slowly breathing in and stacking one breath on top of […]

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Did you say “Voice Amplifier”?

Did you say “Voice Amplifier”?

By Amy Roman, M.S., Speech Therapist. Many of my patients benefit greatly from voice amplifiers.  While an amplifier can’t make speech clearer it can make it louder which is essential for those with reduced breath support.  pALS who use amplifiers report a decrease in fatigue at the […]

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