Augmentative and Alternative Communication in ALS Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is principally a motor neuron disease; in most cases, only neurons affecting voluntary motor function deteriorate. As these neurons die, the muscular functions that they control deteriorate as well. Considered broadly, verbal communication involves two large networks of neurons. First, a large amount of the ... Article
Article  |   December 01, 2003
Augmentative and Alternative Communication in ALS
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lisa C. Bardach
    Communication Solutions, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Daniel S. Newman, MD
    Harry J. Hoenselaar ALS Clinic, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI
  • Editor’s Note: This article was originally developed for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
    Editor’s Note: This article was originally developed for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Dysarthria / Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Articles
Article   |   December 01, 2003
Augmentative and Alternative Communication in ALS
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, December 2003, Vol. 12, 14-21. doi:10.1044/aac12.5.14
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, December 2003, Vol. 12, 14-21. doi:10.1044/aac12.5.14
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is principally a motor neuron disease; in most cases, only neurons affecting voluntary motor function deteriorate. As these neurons die, the muscular functions that they control deteriorate as well.
Considered broadly, verbal communication involves two large networks of neurons. First, a large amount of the dominant hemisphere is devoted to the generation of syntactically correct language. The development of a deficit in this sphere of cognition is termed aphasia. While gross deficits in this sphere are rare in ALS, careful testing has shown deficits in verbal fluency (Iwasaki, Kinoshita, Ikeda, Takamiya, & Shiojima, 1990), word generation, and naming (Strong, Grace, Orange, & Leeper, 1999).
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