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  • 1. Chapter 12- Nervous System Suffixes and ALS Jenny Trace
  • 2. Suffixes
    • -paresis: weakness
    • -taxia: muscle coordination
    • For this presentation I’m going to report on Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and how those suffixes are used to describe this disease.
  • 3. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
    • Also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease
    • A motor neuron disease that attacks nerve cells that control voluntary movement.
    • ALS affects approximately 5 out of every 100,000 people worldwide
    • Higher prevalence in males than females
    • Usually affects people 50 and older, but can occur in younger people
    Picture of Lou Gehrig
  • 4. How Does ALS Work?
    • Motor neurons are communication unit between brain, brain stem, and spinal cord and voluntary muscles
    • Both upper motor neurons (brain) and lower motor neurons (spinal cord) are affected
    • With ALS, motor neurons degenerate and die and are not able to send messages to muscles
    • This causes loss of function and the muscles weaken and waste away
    • As the disease progresses, the brain loses all capacity to control voluntary muscles
    • When the muscles control of the diaphragm is lost , then the patient is no longer to breath on his/her own
    • Patients usually die within 3-5 years from respiratory failure.
  • 5.  
  • 6. Early Symptoms
    • Usually mild and go unnoticed by doctor
    • Twitching, cramping or stiffness of muscles
      • Usually arm or leg
    • Slurred or nasal speech
    • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • 7. Symptoms
    • As symptoms persist, then diagnosis for ALS is usually given
    • Difficulty breathing (dysphagia)
    • Difficulty speaking or forming words
    • Muscle atrophy
    • Exaggerated reflexes
    • Overactive gag reflex
    • Difficulty swallowing
    • Paralysis
  • 8. Prevalence of ALS Symptoms
  • 9. Ataxia
    • Lack of muscle control doing voluntary movements
      • Walking, picking up items, speech, swallowing
    • People with ALS first show signs of ataxia early on and it increases as the disease progresses
  • 10. Quadriparesis
    • Muscle weakness affecting all four limbs
    • Depending on how the ALS is progressing, a patient may first experience paraparesis (weakness of lower limbs) or weakness of all limbs
    • This will eventually result in paralysis and the patient can become a quadriplegic
  • 11. In loving memory of my grandfather, Jim Dooley, who suffered from ALS.