Administer corticosteroids, as ordered during periods of exacerbation.
(a) May reduce severity of exacerbation by reducing edema and
(b) Encourage bedrest during the acute stage as activity seems to
(c) Keep in mind that the residual effects of the disease may increase
with each exacerbation.
Support the patient with optic and speech defects.
(a) Eye patch to block vision impulses for patient with diplopia.
Obtain services of speech therapist.
Discharge planning considerations.
(a) Instruct patient and family in activities of daily living using assistive
and self-help aids.
Assist the patient and family to cope with the stress of multiple
(c) The patient with MS will experience behavioral changes such as
euphoria, depression, denial, and forgetfulness.
(d) Avoid physical and emotional stress as they may worsen
Assist patient to accept his new identity as a handicapped person.
2-34. AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS
a. Definition. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive,
incapacitating, and fatal disease of unknown cause. It is characterized by loss of motor
neurons in the anterior horns of the spinal cord and lower brain stem. Amyotrophic
lateral sclerosis is commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.
b. Signs and Symptoms.
Symptoms vary, depending upon the location of affected motor neurons.
Progressive weakness and atrophy of muscles of arms, trunk, or legs.