Achievement of Comfort: Focus of Care with MND

Tripping over footPerhaps the question that comes to mind about ALS Motor Neuron Disease is that: What is the best possible care that can be provided for someone with this condition? There is no cure, thus, it would be impossible for the individual to recover. Instead, you will see how the condition will progress to its severity and there is nothing that you can do about it.

The focus of care with MND is achievement of comfort. As the disease progresses, the individual will start to manifest severity of symptoms. The onset of MND is further classified according to parts of the body or system that is affected.

Limb Onset Type. Disease manifestations of this type involve weakened arms and legs. As such, Bluebird Care Oundle personnel will observe the patient to have difficulty in gripping or holding objects. The individual may also experience frequent tripping up of foot as the ankle and hips start to manifest symptoms of weakening. Simple tasks of combing the hair or trying to tie own hair may become too difficult for the individual during this stage. Eating well as activities involving grooming will require assistance. Be ready to offer support as the individual may also express frustration in trying to accomplish these tasks.

Bulbar Onset Type. This is the most common type of MND, where slurred speech is the first symptom observed. As the disease progresses, swallowing will soon become a problem. As such, there may be a need for tube feeding, not just to sustain the individual’s nutritional requirement, but to prevent aspiration as well. Note that the intellectual capacity and memory of the individual is not affected, such that he or she can still converse by hand signal. It would help to have words or photos printed on paper ready to help him convey possible requests like turning on the TV, putting some music, changing clothes or opening the window for him.

Respiratory Onset Type. This is the rarest form of MND. Onset of symptom is difficulty or shortness of breath. However, this may start as difficulty in breathing when lying down which can later on progress to a more severe form. Some individuals may also experience fainting spells. This may be secondary to the oxygen not reaching the brain. As such, it is imperative that the individual has someone to Care in the home oundle for him.

Regardless of the type of onset, individuals with MND will eventually progress to the end-stage symptoms which involves shortness or difficulty of breathing and paralysis of the whole body. During this stage, the individual will become drowsy and fall deeply asleep. Difficulty of breathing cannot be relieved by mechanical ventilation as the lungs cease to function. It is expected that families of individuals with this disease have already coordinated with the physician for plan of care during the first stages of illness. The level of care and intervention that is required during this stage will depend on the plan of care that the family and the patient agreed upon in the early stages of MND.

Diagnosed with ALS: What’s Next?

Stephen William Hawking, English Physicist with ALSYou may have reached this page by looking for answers to your questions about a family member’s condition. He may have been diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. This is the most common of all types of Motor Neuron Disease. The question is after knowing that a family member or a loved one has ALS, what to do next?

First, you should understand what happens to a person with this type of degenerative disease. Amyotrophic came from the Greek word “A” which means No, “Myo,” pertaining to the muscle and “Trophic,” which means nourishment, thus the word amyotrophic means no muscle nourishment. When this happens, the muscle is wasted away and it atrophies or dies. It hardens.

With this condition, the lateral part of the nerves of the spinal cord hardens further debilitating the muscles, which that part controls. So, it is expected that the individual with this condition exhibits a progressive muscle wasting as well as non-movement.

The symptoms that ALS patients experience will give a clue as to what particular part of the body is being affected. Through identification of the affected part, the doctor will be able to pinpoint the particular nerve affected.  Most individuals complain about stumbling and tripping when running. Some may also report foot drop. These are the symptoms that are evident at the initial onset of this disease. As such, it is appropriate to seek medical and home care help as early as possible, especially after the diagnosis has been confirmed.

What you should understand about this condition is that, it progresses rapidly. It can finally affect the breathing of the individual. A specialist can prescribe medication to slow the progress, but no medication yet can actually halt the disease progression. To make life as pleasant as possible would be the main goal in providing care for individuals with ALS.

If you are considering getting domiciliary or home care, it is advisable to look at the possibility of Bluebird care learning disabilities. ALS is not easily confirmed by doctors or even specialists. There is no actual diagnostic test that will specifically pinpoint ALS. On the other hand, the disease may be detected too late that speech is already affected and in this case you will need some help with experts to understand what your loved one is trying to express. You can also draw support from the home care institution in trying to understand what is happening to your loved one.

Most of the time, the symptoms are difficult to manage at home, even with a home care assistant. You may need to have your loved one checked into a hospital or a home care institution to get the necessary intervention and assistance for the individual.

The onset of ALS is common after age 40. Men are affected most of the time, compared to women. When the condition starts to manifest during early 40s, the partner may have difficulty in addressing the changes brought about by the condition, such that a strong familial support is vital in helping the partner of the ALS patient understand everything.

Everything you need to know about MND

The motor neurone disease or MND refers to a group of related neurological disorders that affect neurone or nerves. The affected neurones are located both in the hand in the spinal cord. Thus, it affects the cells that are in control of voluntary muscle activities such as speaking, walking, swallowing, and other movement of the body. It is also considered as a progressive disorder in nature. Its effects on the persons can be in a form of debilitating disability and even death. It attacks the upper and lower motor nerves.

It was first termed by Jean-Martin Charcot, a French neurologist, in 1874. The said disease comes in four primary types. These are the following types: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS, progressive bulbar palsy or PBP, progressive muscular atrophy or PMA and primary lateral sclerosis or PLS. Below is a list of the forms of the disease with the known symptoms and life expectancy for the diagnosed person.

The Effect on the Person

The common effect of the disease is the degeneration of the motor neurones. Once a motor nerve is not able to generate, it causes weakness and wasting in limbs, affecting the person’s mobility, speech and eating activity.

Given that the said disease comes in four types, the effect on the person is dependent on the type of disease. Thus, its effect varies from one person to another. The list below shows the four types of MND and how they affect the person.

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) – This is considered as the most common of the four types. It affects both the upper and lower motor nerve. This form is found out as factors in the weakness and wasting in the limbs. Other people experience mobility problems such as tripping when the person walks.
  • Progressive bulbar palsy (PBP) – This form of disease affects about a quarter of people who are diagnosed with the disease. It also affects both the upper and lower motor nerves. The known symptoms for this type are speech defects.
  • Progressive muscular atrophy (PMA) – This form of disease is known to only affecting a small proportion of people. The damage is mostly on the lower motor nerves. Weakness and clumsiness of the muscles found in the hand are some of its early symptoms.
  • Primary lateral sclerosis (PLS) – This is the form of the disease that is considered as rare. It affects only the upper motor nerves. It is a factor of the weakness in the lower limbs. Weakness of the muscle in the hands and some speech problems are the known symptoms of this form. Life span is known as essentially normal.

The Process of Diagnosis

The process of diagnosis for MDN is very difficult. The disease is considered as one of the world’s ‘rare’ diseases. Most of the early symptoms are very light that they are barely get noticed and sometimes considered as normal. Some of the early symptoms are clumsiness, weakness or little speech difficulty, of course, which are mostly attributed to other disorders.

Who are the People at Risk?

For the past few years, the case or the number of the people diagnosed with the disease is found to be increase. This is because of diagnostic testing brought by modern technology. Furthermore, the disease is mostly found common in older people.

An adult at any age can be affected of the disease. Most people who are diagnosed with the disease are known to be between the age of 40 and 70. Men are likely to suffer from the said disease more than women. Statistic shows that men are affected twice as often as women. The rate of people who will be diagnosed with MND each year is about two people in every 100,000. There are about two people in every 100,000 that will develop the said disease and out of these 100,000 there are seven people who are already living with the disease.

The Different Forms of Motor Neurone Disease or MND

There are four primary known forms of Motor Neurone Disease or MND. Each form of disease affects a person in different or various ways. There is also a possibility that the different types can overlap between each other. There is a use in pointing out the distinctiveness of each type however it is not always possible to be exact or specific.

The four types of the said disease are amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS, progressive bulbar palsy or PBP, progressive muscular atrophy or PMA and primary lateral sclerosis or PLS. Below is a list of the forms of the disease with the known symptoms and life expectancy for the diagnosed person.

  1. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) – This is considered as the most common of the four types. It affects both the upper and lower motor nerve. This form is found out as factors in the weakness and wasting in the limbs. Other people experience mobility problems such as tripping when the person walks. The average life expectancy for a person suffering from this form is from two to five years from the time the symptoms started.
  2. Progressive bulbar palsy (PBP) – This form of disease affects about a quarter of people who are diagnosed with the disease. It also affects both the upper and lower motor nerves. The known symptoms for this type are speech defects. The average life expectancy for the diagnosed person is between six months and three years from the time that symptoms started.
  3. Progressive muscular atrophy (PMA) – This form of disease is known to only affecting a small proportion of people. The damage is mostly on the lower motor nerves. Weakness and clumsiness of the muscles found in the hand are some of its early symptoms. Most diagnosed people live for more than five years. 
  4. Primary lateral sclerosis (PLS) – This is the form of the disease that is considered as rare. It affects only the upper motor nerves. It is a factor of the weakness in the lower limbs. Weakness of the muscle in the hands and some speech problems are the known symptoms of this form. Life span is known as essentially normal. However, the average life expectancy of the person depends on the form of the disease, whether it remains as PLS or develops into other forms.

Kennedy’s Disease

The Kennedy’s Disease and MND are found out to share similar traits or characteristics. This is can be a factor in the confusion on the diagnosis phase. The Kennedy’s Disease is also another progressive disorder of the motor nerves that is triggered because of genetic mutation. This kind of disease rarely affects the muscle. This is not considered as a form of the latter disease. However, Kennedy’s disease is included as one of the medical conditions supported by the Association of MND. Only the men are affected by this disease however it is possible that women carry the said mutation that triggers the disease. The accurate diagnosis for Kennedy’s Disease is made possible through gene testing. Unlike to MND, Kennedy’s disease is not known to be threatening to the person’s average life expectancy.