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Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Sarah Belair and Hannah McLaughlin
What is ALS? ●AKA Lou Gehrig's Disease ●Causes motor neurons to deteriorate affecting voluntary muscle movements ●Motor neurons don't send messages to muscles causing the muscles to weaken ●Brain’s ability to send signals to voluntary move is lost
Symptoms ● Muscle Weakness and Difficulty Using o Limbs o Muscles used for Speaking, Swallowing, or Breathing ● Tremors ● Muscle Cramping ● Jumbled/Slurred Speech ● Advanced Stages: o Difficulty Breathing (shortness of breath) o Difficulty Swallowing ●Progressive dementia
Rosalie McLaughlin-Belair ● 25 years old ● Has developed muscle weakness in her arms ● Has difficulty lifting objects ● She is worried she inherited the disease from her mother
Regions of the Brain Affected ● Cerebellum ● Cerebral Cortex ● Frontal Lobe ● Motor Cortex
Diagnosis ● Process of Elimination (No specific diagnostic testing currently) o Electrodiagnostic Testing Electromyography (EMG) Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV) o Blood/Urine Samples o Spinal Tap o X-Ray o Biopsy (Muscle/Nerve) o MRI ● Genetic Testing o SOD1 Gene on Chromosome 21 Q o of Chromosome 9 P
Treatment ● Incurable ● Riluzole o Decreases release of glutamate o Reduce damage to motor neurons o Prolongs life by several months o Prolongs time before mechanical intervention such as ventilators ● Diaphragm Pacing Systems o For late stage ALS o Assists with breathing for ALS patients o Delays need for ventilators ● Ventilator ● Gastrostomies
Prognosis ● Average life span with early detection of weakness is about 5 years ● Wheel chair ● Stages o Symptoms o Diagnosis o Involvement of second region (of the brain) o Involvement of third region (of the brain) o Gastrostomies o Machine Ventilation ●Therapy
Error in Communication ● The brain of an ALS patient is significantly smaller than a brain of a normal person. This is because neurons start to break down and die causing a decrease in brain matter. The neurons that are affected are noticed to be in different parts of the brain.
Biomedical Professionals MRI technician ● Operate magnetic resonance imaging scanner (MRI) which create diagnostic images of body tissues ● Responsibilities: o Prep patients for scan and positions them inside scanner o Calibrating MRI and it’s parts and ensuring its functioning properly o Screening patients (interviewing) for things which would prevent patient from continuing on to having the scan (pregnancy, pacemaker) ● Education o Associate's degree in magnetic resonance imaging ● How do they help a possible ALS patient? o Create images of ALS patient’s brain, spinal cord and nerves in order to eliminate other possible conditions such as MS, stroke, or tumors
Biomedical Professionals Cont. X-Ray Technician ● Preform X-Ray imaging exam/scan which create 2-D images of dense areas of the body (bone) ● Responsibilities: o Maintaining/upkeeping of their machine o Operating X-Ray Equipment o Keep records of procedures ● Education o Associates degree o Certification (American Registry of Radiologic Technologists) ● How do they help a possible ALS patient? o Conduct X-Ray which is used to eliminate other possible diseases/conditions
Citations ALS Multidisciplinary Clinic. (2014, January 1). Retrieved November 14, 2014, from http://www.massgeneral.org/als/patienteducation/DiagnosingALS.aspx American Journal of Neuroradiology. (2014, January 1). Retrieved November 14, 2014, from http://www.ajnr.org/content/21/4/647/F1.expansion.html Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Fact Sheet. (2014, September 19). Retrieved November 14, 2014, from http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/amyotrophiclateralsclerosis/detail_als.htm Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. (2014, May 2). Retrieved November 14, 2014, from http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1170097-overview Become a MRI Technician: Education and Career Roadmap. (2013, January 1). Retrieved November 14, 2014, from http://education-portal.com/become_a_mri_technician.html Sapko, M.D, M. (2014, March 1). How to Become an X-Ray Technician. Retrieved November 14, 2014, from http://www.innerbody.com/careers-in-health/how-to-become-an-x-ray-technician.html What is ALS? (2010, January 1). Retrieved November 14, 2014, from http://www.alsa.org/about-als/symptoms.html http://www.alsa.org/about-als/symptoms.html
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