Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Nursing Care

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is well known as Lou Gehrig, it is a motoric neuron disease that cause muscular athropy. ALS attacks 40 to 70 years old people. ALS is a fatal disease because it can weaken patient chronically and progressively. It is a challange for nurses to do Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Nursing Care. The nursing care is like nursing care in stroke patient.

What Causes Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

So what causes Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis? There are many factors contribute ALS. You can read here for more info about risk factors of ALS. The causes of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, as follow:

  • The difinite etioly of ALS is unknown: genetic plays role about 10 persen for thi disease
  • Autoimmune problem that attacks glomerulus of kidnye and basal membrane
  • Metabolic interference at nucleat acid production by nerves systems
  • Nutritional defeciency that has relation with enzyme metabolism
  • Virus that make metabolic disturbance in motor neuron

Symptoms of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

  • Fasiculation with muscle atrophy and weakness, especially in upper extremity
  • Language problems
  • Difficult to swallows, chew, and breathe
  • Smothering feeling in neck
  • Excessive saliva

Diagnostic Examination

For better amyotrophic lateral sclerosis nursing care, you must be sure that this is the symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Then to make it sure, doctors will do some diagnosis examinations. The result of it usually such as:

  1. Electromyography shows abnormalities in muscles
  2. Muscle biopsy shows anthropic fiber alternate with normal fiber.
  3. Protein content in cerebrospinal fluid in patient, but sometime this findings does not determine ALS diagnosis.


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a kind of disease with no cure. So the focus of the cure is just on how to prolong the onset of the disease or based on symptoms.

  1. Treatment is based on symptoms, supporting the emotional, psychological, and physical.
  2. Riluzole neuroprotector or diazepam can be prescribed to control spasticity that bothers the activity daily living.

Related : Scientists Found Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Prevention

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Nursing Care

  1. Start amyotrophic lateral sclerosis nursing care with neurology assessment (it is a basic thing to do for disease evaluation).
  2. Do rehabilitation program to help patient’s independent as long as the patient can
  3. Help patient to get tools like kirk or wheel chair. Schedule the home care schedule to monitor patient’s status, give support, and give patient’s family about ALS information.
  4. Depend on muscular capability, help patient to take shower, self-care, and move from wheel chair to bed. Help patient to clean intestine and bladder routinely.
  5. To help patient with secret accumulation and dysphagia, teach the patient how to suck the secret accumulation by patient self.
  6. Tell patient’s family about pneumonia caused by aspiration with symptoms like fever, yellow color secretion, and shallow respiration.
  7. Skin care should be done to maintain skin damage like decubitus or pressure ulcer. Routinely move patient’s position to increase the circulation of skin. Keep the skin clean and dry.
  8. If patient has a problem with swallowing process, give patient porridge like foods, and regulate the patient’s position in right and ready to eat position. Patient might be need nasogastric pipe to help nutrition need if the patient cannot swallow anymore.
  9. Teach patient and family how to feed from nasogastric pipe.
  10. Give emotional support. Ask patient and family to be prepared with terminal condition of patient.