SpeechPathology.comPhone: 800-242-5183

Guardian Angel: Join our team!
 

Speech Therapy for Patients with Myasthenia Gravis

Patrick Coppens, Ph.D

October 8, 2007


Question

What should be the main focus of speech and language therapy for patients with myasthenia gravis?

Answer

Individuals with myasthenia gravis have a disorder at the level of the neuromuscular junction, where the acetylcholine neurotransmitter is unable to sustain its activity on the receptors in the muscles. Consequently, patients are able to perform all movements for a while, but are unable to sustain the activity for an extended period of time. Essentially, muscles fatigue.

Individuals with myasthenia gravis have motor speech difficulties, specifically flaccid dysarthria, but no language disorders. With use, articulation becomes increasingly imprecise, hypernasality increases, etc. The assessment should include stress testing to show decrease of articulatory precision with use.

These patients are usually on anticholinesterase medications which help significantly. In most cases, speech pathologists focus on environmental modifications and AAC. The patient is asked to take multiple periods of rest and to avoid prolonged use of the articulatory musculature. Also, the SLP assesses and recommends an appropriate AAC device tailored to the patient's needs and preferences. This allows the patient to keep communicating during periods of rest or when speech becomes unintelligible. Because of intact language and cognition, a high tech AAC device is usually appropriate.

Patrick Coppens, Ph.D. is Professor and Chair of Communication Disorders and Sciences and Neurogenics Instructor at Plattsburgh State University of New York.

Related Courses

Visual Supports and Dementia: Facilitating Interaction and Participation [Live Webinar Course]

Presenter

Kristin Whitfield, MA, CCC-SLP
Course: #6985
Thursday, March 12, 2015 at 12:00 pm EDT
CEUs/Hours Offered: ASHA/0.1 Intermediate, Professional; Kansas DHE, LTS-S1370/1.0; SAC/1.0
This course is included in $99 CEU Total Access, Learn More
Course Details

This Course is included in CEU Total Access.

Only $99/yr

Buy Now

Tools for Aphasia Advocacy and Awareness [Video Course]

Presenter

Ellayne S. Ganzfried, MS, CCC-SLP
Course: #4949
CEUs/Hours Offered: ASHA/0.1 Intermediate, Professional; Kansas DHE, LTS-S1370/1.0; SAC/1.0
This course is included in $99 CEU Total Access, Learn More
Course Details

This Course is included in CEU Total Access.

Only $99/yr

Buy Now

Selecting Apps for Therapy: A tutorial for SLPs on using an EBP model to assist with choosing intervention tools [Video Course]

Presenters

Lara L. Wakefield, PhD, CCC-SLPTheresa Schaber, M.A., CCC-SLP
Course: #5058
CEUs/Hours Offered: AG Bell - LSLS/1.0 Domain 3, Domain 6, Domain 7, CE-SPC-13-065; ASHA/0.1 Intermediate, Related; Kansas DHE, LTS-S1370/1.0; SAC/1.0
This course is included in $99 CEU Total Access, Learn More
Course Details

This Course is included in CEU Total Access.

Only $99/yr

Buy Now

The PICO Template for Reviewing Speech-Language Therapy Apps: A decision-making tool for SLPs [Video Course]

Presenters

Lara L. Wakefield, PhD, CCC-SLPTheresa Schaber, M.A., CCC-SLP
Course: #5123
CEUs/Hours Offered: AG Bell - LSLS/1.0 Domain 7, CE-SPC-13-065; ASHA/0.1 Intermediate, Professional; Kansas DHE, LTS-S1370/1.0; SAC/1.0
This course is included in $99 CEU Total Access, Learn More
Course Details

This Course is included in CEU Total Access.

Only $99/yr

Buy Now

Pragmatics and Social Issues Associated with TBI [Video Course]

Presenters

Jean Neils-Strunjas, Ph.D.Brendan Wiese, B.A.
Course: #5159
CEUs/Hours Offered: ASHA/0.1 Introductory, Professional; Kansas DHE, LTS-S1370/1.0; SAC/1.0
This course is included in $99 CEU Total Access, Learn More
Course Details

This Course is included in CEU Total Access.

Only $99/yr

Buy Now