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Treatment Concepts for Persons With ALS

presented by Valerie Carter, PT, DPT, NCS, GCS and Kay Wing, PT, DPT, NCS

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Kay Wing and Valerie Carter receive compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Non-Financial: Kay Wing and Valerie Carter have no competing nonfinancial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

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Video Runtime: 72 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 35 Minutes

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal disease that is often misdiagnosed until later stages. Because of this, therapists treating these patients for orthopedic and neurological issues need to recognize the signs and symptoms for differential diagnosis. This course will guide the therapist in advanced knowledge of diagnosis and intervention with the appropriate equipment and therapies during all stages of the disease, including referral to and communication with other health care professionals to manage the multisystem needs of these patients as they decline in function. It will also guide the therapist in the types of equipment needed during each stage. On completion of this course, the therapist will be able to apply proper tests and measures to guide treatment. This course utilizes case study, lecture, demonstration, and patient video examples to enhance learning.

Meet Your Instructors

Valerie Carter, PT, DPT, NCS, GCS

Valerie Carter, PT, DPT, NCS, GCS, is a graduate of Northern Arizona University and a board-certified neurological and geriatric specialist. She was awarded the Excellence in Neurologic Education Award by the APTA and is a full clinical professor in the Program of Physical Therapy at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. She graduated from NAU…

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Kay Wing, PT, DPT, NCS

Kay Wing, PT, DPT, NCS, is the owner of Southwest Advanced Neurological Rehabilitation (SWAN Rehab), an outpatient rehabilitation facility specializing in the treatment of stroke, traumatic brain injury, and other neurological diseases. She received her physical therapy degree at Northwestern University and her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Northern Arizona University. She is a board-certified…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Anatomy, Pathophysiology, and Differential Diagnosis in ALS

Because ALS is an upper and lower motor disease, diagnosis can be difficult. This chapter will describe the effects of ALS on the motor cortex, cranial nerves, and spinal cord, with descriptions of how each stage of the disease affects these structures differently.

2. Treatment Concepts Across the Life Span

This chapter describes interventions during each stage of the disease to address the wide variety of body functions and structures affected. It describes the team of experts needed to adequately care for the numerous complications of this disease.

3. Functional Tests to Guide Treatment Design Specific to ALS

Testing for ALS guides the therapist to choose and implement appropriate interventions, including equipment, to help the patient remain as comfortable and functional as possible during decline. This chapter will present physical tests and self-report instruments recommended for ALS.

4. Medication Considerations Across Disease Progression of Older Adults With ALS

Medication does not cure ALS but can improve survival rates, make patients more comfortable, and give patients a better quality of life while managing the disease. Many patients with ALS find alternative interventions that can be both ineffective and expensive. This chapter presents a credible source to guide patients in making informed decisions about these alternative interventions.

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