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Physical therapy for individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: current insights

Authors Dal Bello-Haas V

Received 21 July 2017

Accepted for publication 11 December 2017

Published 16 July 2018 Volume 2018:8 Pages 45—54

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/DNND.S146949

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Thomas Müller


Vanina Dal Bello-Haas

Physiotherapy Program, School of Rehabilitation Science, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada

Abstract: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive, neurodegenerative, and inevitably fatal disease. There is no cure for ALS and life expectancy is typically 2–5 years after symptom onset. Despite the lack of a cure and the rapidly progressive nature of the disease, ALS is considered a “treatable disease” and rehabilitation is integral to optimal, comprehensive care. In addition to the other health care professions making up the health care team, physical therapy provides a critical role in the overall management in individuals with ALS. Physical therapy that is tailored to the individual’s needs and goals and focused on addressing symptoms and maximizing function and participation enables people with ALS to live their lives to the fullest and with quality. The purpose of this paper is to review some of the recent ALS research findings that have implications for physical therapy practice.

Keywords: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, physical therapy, disease stage, falls, exercise, pain, cognition

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