Speech, Language and Cognitive Impairments in ALS This month’s Back to Basics article was contributed by graduate student Melissa Haley, who prepared a preliminary version as a project for a class taught by Dr. Stacie Raymer. It reviews recent research suggesting that individuals who are referred for evaluation and treatment of ALS should probably be evaluated for ... Article
Article  |   April 01, 2000
Speech, Language and Cognitive Impairments in ALS
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Melissa Haley
    Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA
  • Anastasia M. Raymer
    Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA
Article Information
Articles
Article   |   April 01, 2000
Speech, Language and Cognitive Impairments in ALS
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, April 2000, Vol. 10, 2-5. doi:10.1044/nnsld10.1.2
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, April 2000, Vol. 10, 2-5. doi:10.1044/nnsld10.1.2
This month’s Back to Basics article was contributed by graduate student Melissa Haley, who prepared a preliminary version as a project for a class taught by Dr. Stacie Raymer. It reviews recent research suggesting that individuals who are referred for evaluation and treatment of ALS should probably be evaluated for linguistic and cognitive impairments, as well as for the motor speech problems that we typically expect to encounter in this population.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurological disorder in which there is loss of upper and lower motor neurons leading to debilitating motor impairments (Neville & Ringel, 1999). Dysarthria is a common manifestation, and bulbar symptoms may be the presenting complaint in some patients (Rose, 1977). Depending on the extent of upper or lower motor neuron involvement, the speech disorder presents as flaccid, spastic, and most often, mixed flaccid-spastic dysarthria (Duffy, 1995). In clinical training, it is the motor speech symptomatology that garners the most interest for speech-language pathologists. Yorkston and Beukelman (1999)  have discussed the need for staging communication treatments for patients with ALS, ultimately leading to the point at which augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) methods become the primary means of communication.
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