Upper motor neurons initiate in the cerebral cortex, cerebellum, and brainstem (Smeltzer, Bare, Hinkle, & Cheever, 2010). The upper motor neurons are the descending pathways in the central nervous system (Smeltzer, Bare, Hinkle, & Cheever, 2010). They regulate the action of the lower motor neurons (Smeltzer, Bare, Hinkle, & Cheever, 2010). The lower motor neurons can be found in two places: the anterior horn of the spinal cord gray matter and in the cranial nerve nuclei in the brainstem (Smeltzer, Bare, Hinkle, & Cheever, 2010). Regardless of where they begin, the lower motor neurons spread through the peripheral nerves and end in the skeletal muscle, and are found in the central and peripheral nervous systems (Smeltzer, Bare, Hinkle, & Cheever, 2010). The upper motor neurons are hemisphere specific and initiate in the cortex of the brain.” They then travel through the internal capsule, shift to the other side of the brain, travel within the corticospinal tract, and finally synapse with lower motor neurons in the spinal cord” (Smeltzer, Bare, Hinkle, & Cheever, 2010). The lower motor neurons obtain an impulse that begins the process of what????? through the myon...
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... Due to the incurable nature of the disease, we refer to treatment as symptom management. This is done with a multidisciplinary team, which includes speech-language pathologists (SLP) (ASHA, 2015). In particular, an SLP’s primary goal in treatment of persons with ALS is to preserve functional communication and swallowing (ASHA, 2015). The SLP’s role in treatment is to include approaches to maintain speech intelligibility, reduce fatigue while the patient is communicating, and possibly to introduce and teach the patient to use an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device, depending on the severity of the disease (ASHA, 2015). In cases where the individual presents with chewing and swallowing deficits, an SLP can work with a multidisciplinary team to lessen the chance of the individual aspirating, as well as providing input for a safe diet (ASHA, 2015).
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