Module 08 Case Study: CNS Movement Disorders
Part I—"Harry" Questions
1. What condition or conditions (disease/diseases) could Harry have as described in this case? Which one would be your primary diagnosis? In a very general explanation, describe this condition/disease. (1 point) Harry suffers from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. This disease affects a person’s motor neurons affecting voluntary motor control by damaging both the upper motor neuron and lower motor neuron.
2. Which patient findings/observations lead you to your primary diagnosis? How do they relate to the primary diagnosis? (1 point) It was Harry’s general weakness his clumsiness, and his suffering from extreme fatigue and weight loss and his weakened motor controls, slurred speech and displays an abnormal Babinski reflex that led me to his primary diagnosis.
3. How does this condition (pathophysiology) affect the body and lead to the observable symptoms and dysfunction? Be specific in the areas of the CNS it affects. (1 point) Because motor neurons degenerate with ALS, they can no longer send impulses to the muscle fibers that normally result in muscle movement. Early symptoms of ALS often include increasing muscle weakness, especially involving the arms and legs, speech, swallowing or breathing. When muscles no longer receive the messages from the motor neurons that they require to function, the muscles begin to become smaller. Therefore limbs begin to look "thinner" as muscle tissue atrophies.
4. What treatment options are available for this condition? (1 point) Drugs can be prescribed to treat the mentioned symptoms and combat further damage to the motor neurons. Baclofen could be prescribed in response to his abdominal spasticity to relax his skeletal muscles. Riluzole is believed to work to reduce the damage to motor neurons through a decrease in the release of gultamate. As well, physical and speech therapy were recommended.
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