Journal of Physical Medicine Rehabilitation & Disabilities Category: Medical Type: Short Communication

Rehabilitation in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Approaches and Future Prospects

Marco Orsini1*, Monara Kedma Nunes2, Lysnara Lial2, Rayele Moreira2, Victor Hugo Bastos3, André Palma Matta4, Mariana Cunha4, Beny Smidth5, Pedro Ribeiro6, Bruna Velasques6, Silmar Teixeira7, Juliana Bittencount8 and Acary Bulle Oliveira4
1 Department of neurology, Graduate Program in Rehabilitation Sciences, Fluminense Federal University, Praça das Nações, 34 - Bonsucesso, Rio de Janeiro - 21041021, Brazil
2 Brain mapping laboratory and functionality lamcef, Federal University of Piaui, Parnaíba, Brazil
3 Brain mapping laboratory and sensory motor integration, IPUB - Instituto de Psquiatria da UFRJ, Psychiatric Hospital, Federal University of Piaui, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
4 Department of neurology, Fluminense Federal University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
5 Department of neurology, Federal University of São Paulo - UNIFESP, São Paulo, Brazil
6 Brain mapping laboratory and sensory motor integration, IPUB - Instituto de Psquiatria da UFRJ, Psychiatric Hospital, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
7 Mapping and brain plasticity laboratory laplace, Federal University of Piaui, Parnaíba, Brazil
8 Department of neurology, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro-UFRJ - Brain Mapping Laboratory and EEG - IPUB, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

*Corresponding Author(s):
Marco Orsini
Department Of Neurology, Graduate Program In Rehabilitation Sciences, Fluminense Federal University, Praça Das Nações, 34 - Bonsucesso, Rio De Janeiro - 21041021, Brazil
Tel:+55 (21) 984449832,

Received Date: Nov 12, 2015
Accepted Date: Jan 28, 2016
Published Date: Feb 15, 2016


Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is the most common form of motor neuron disease in adults with an estimated incidence of 1-2 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, being the majority of sporadic type and 5-10% familiar. The progressive sign of weakness, and paralysis of the muscles of the upper and lower limbs, face and trunk observed in individuals with the disease results from the progressive loss of upper motor neurons, the corticospinal tract, bulb and spinal cord [1].

The disease is neurodegenerative in nature and inexorably leads to death within 5-10 years from the onset of symptoms, usually as a consequence of a progressive restrictive respiratory failure with diaphragmatic involvement, the main breathing muscle [2]. Because it is a rare pathology, the diagnosis takes about a year for spine forms and 4-6 months for the bulbar ones, and the later the diagnosis, the shorter survival [3]. There is no healing treatment, therefore, palliative measures are used in an attempt to ensure longevity of patients, quality of life and reduced costs [2,3].

The main therapeutic pillar in ALS is a trans-disciplinary approach, including health professionals, such as doctors, nurses, speech therapists, physiotherapists, nutritionists, psychologists and occupational therapists [4]. The natural history of the disease with variable evolution speed between patients prevents the protocol of activities/exercise therapy, although it is known that a metabolic overload on an already compromised system should be avoided [5,6] and management of muscle weakness/fatigue should include energy maintenance techniques, changes in lifestyle and regular periods of rest between activities. Proper nutritional support is essential, since about one-third of patients with ALS are found in state of malnutrition [7] and stretching techniques and the use of assistive devices are important to facilitate certain basic and instrumental activities of daily living [6].

Symptoms such as dyspnoea, dysphonia, and dysarthria are crucial for speech intelligibility [8] that decreases as the disease progresses. In neuromuscular affections, the pattern of musculature involves changes in vocal quality, resonance, breathing, articulatory precision, speech rate, prosody and pneumophonoarticulatory coordination. At this stage, the therapist, in order to guarantee the message transmission and a better understanding of the caller, encourages the patient to use resources such as syntactic reduction and the routine use of vocabulary, and graphical support [9].

At a more advanced stage of the disease, the patient needs maximum assistance since he is already being bedridden and dependent on invasive ventilatory support. At this time, passive and stretching exercises are indicated so as to delay the onset of contractures and deformities, or to prevent progression of existing liabilities, the use of invasive or noninvasive mechanical ventilation, tracheal aspiration, a nasogastric tube and psychological support [10].


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Citation: Orsini M, Nunes MK, Lial L, Moreira R, Bastos VH, et al. (2016) Rehabilitation in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Approaches and Future Prospects. J Phys Med Rehabil Disabil 2: 008.

Copyright: © 2016  Marco Orsini, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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