Alternativní a augmentativní komunikace u pacientů s amyotrofickou laterální sklerózou

Title in English Alternative and augmentative communication in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients


Year of publication 2022
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Listy klinické logopedie
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Medicine

Keywords Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis; dysarthria; Augmentative and Alternative Communication; quality of life
Description Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease. Among others, dysarthria and dysphagia (i.e. bulbar dysfunction) represent common clinical manifestations of ALS. Gradual impairment or even loss of speech functions puts ALS patients in the position of serious candidates for the implementation of Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC). Regular follow-up with the assessment of speech functions and AAC recommendation and settings in the relevant cases provided by the Clinical Speech Therapist are recommended in all ALS patients, from the onset of the disease. Maintaining the possibility of communication and interaction with the family and friends throughout the disease significantly improves the quality of life of patients and their caregivers. The paper presents the results of the long-term follow-up of a group of 89 ALS patients with bulbar impairment, focused on the use of AAC and the timing of AAC onset. Almost one-half of our patients started to use AAC in the follow-up period. Not surprisingly, the AAC methods were used mainly by patients with severe dysarthria or anarthria. In the study sample, patients started to use AAC approximately 16 months after the onset of bulbar symptoms. However, the time to onset of AAC was significantly variable individually, and a few patients did not use any AAC methods, even in the interval of more than 8 years from the onset of clinical bulbar impairment.
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