Navigation Links
ALS patients differ on treatment choices in later phases of disease
Date:4/20/2012

NEW ORLEANS Two new studies analyzing treatment decisions in late-stage amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients shed light onto treatments aimed to extend the duration and quality of life in this progressively debilitating neuromuscular disorder. Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found that waiting until the last minute to receive one treatment resulted in not living long enough to experience the benefits. In a separate study, Penn researchers uncovered polarized preferences among patients regarding the value of an expensive, marginally effective disease-modifying drug. The research will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 64th Annual Meeting in New Orleans.

ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is rare, affecting approximately 30,000 Americans. In later stages of the disease, it paralyzes ALS patients' bodies, while minds often stay sharp. Along with other treatments and supportive therapies used in later stages of the disease, many patients receive a feeding tube to ensure nourishment can be obtained when muscles are impaired.

One Penn Medicine study demonstrates that ALS patients who have feeding tubes placed before an emergency situation strikes fare better. Those having surgeries in non-emergent settings were much less likely to die within one month after surgery, compared to ALS patients receiving their feeding tubes under duress. Median survival after the feeding tube surgery was 6 months overall and longer for patients undergoing non-emergent versus emergent placement (7 months vs. 4 months). In addition, mortality rates were worse for patients having procedures done at hospitals that did not regularly perform feeding tubes placement in ALS patients.

"Timing is crucial for placement of feeding tubes in ALS patients," said the lead author of both studies, Amy Tsou, MD, MSc, a fellow in Neurology and a Robert Wood Johnson VA Clinical Scholar. "We've shown that waiting too long can be detrimental and happens too often. In general, it is important for clinicians and patients to proactively prepare and reevaluate treatment decisions as ALS patients enter into different phases of the disease."

In a second study, researchers found polarized treatment preferences regarding Riluzole, the first FDA approved treatment to slow ALS. Patients had sharply polarized preferences about this expensive treatment, which modestly prolongs length of life of ALS patients. In a survey of 98 patients with ALS or Motor Neuron Disease, nearly two-thirds of the patients ranked Riluzole as either the most important (30 percent) or least important (33 percent) treatment option.

"It is important to ask patients how they value their treatments, as in this case, we learned that patients who are older and looking for a high quality of life, valued this drug considerably more than people with impaired walking ability, who instead preferred supportive therapies like adaptive equipment," said Leo McCluskey, MD, professor of Neurology and director of the Penn ALS Center. "Overall, medical care providers should work with patients to discuss treatment options throughout the progression of the disease to ensure a high quality of end-of-life care."


'/>"/>

Contact: Kim Menard
kim.menard@uphs.upenn.edu
215-200-2312
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Exercise May Help Patients With High Blood Pressure Live Longer
2. Swallowing exercises can help patients with head and neck cancer
3. 19th century therapy for Parkinsons disease may help patients today
4. Study: Insomnia takes toll on tinnitus patients
5. Kidney Cancer Patients Fare Better With Tumor Removal Only
6. Avastin No Benefit to Older Lung Cancer Patients: Study
7. Study examines drug regimen for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer among older patients
8. Adding drug to standard chemotherapy provides no survival benefit for older lung cancer patients
9. Kidney cancer patients do better when whole kidney is not removed, U-M study shows
10. Swallowing exercises linked with short-term improvement among patients with head and neck cancer
11. Immunotherapy for elderly cancer patients finds new promise in drug combination
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:7/25/2017)... ... July 25, 2017 , ... ... provider in the United States, today announced its partnership with financial technology company, ... , The foundation of the solution lies within Hyosung’s superior ATMs, assisted self-service ...
(Date:7/25/2017)... ... 25, 2017 , ... Facing medical needs with a newborn boy this spring, ... a new benefit for employees that is uncommon in American business: 12 weeks of ... me and other employees as new parents. It keeps our family life more stable. ...
(Date:7/25/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... July 25, 2017 , ... SignatureCare Emergency ... in the Austin, TX area 24 Hours a day. , The Emergency ... TX. , “We’ve been open four months now and things are running smoothly,” ...
(Date:7/24/2017)... JACKSONVILLE, Florida (PRWEB) , ... ... ... Klaproth, Division Marketing Director,      (407) 916-7235, kklaproth(at)robinsmorton(dot)com , Robins ... guests joined together to celebrate the structural topping out of the new ...
(Date:7/24/2017)... ... July 24, 2017 , ... SignatureCare Emergency Center is looking ... the fall semester to a deserving student. Get your applications in now as ... awarded to Mariana Castillo who is a nursing student at Prairie View A&M University ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:7/11/2017)... , July 11, 2017  Sysmex America, ... urinalysis diagnostic testing equipment as well as middleware ... a way to make quality assurance easier and ... "Sysmex is well known for the innovation that ... Quality Monitor elevates quality assurance processes to a ...
(Date:7/10/2017)... GAITHERSBURG, Md. , July 10, 2017 ... in non-animal test methods, is the recipient of a ... by the PETA International Science Consortium. The device, which ... be used to expose human lung cells to airborne ... lung. IIVS will use the VITROCELL® system for testing ...
(Date:7/6/2017)... ThriveRx, the nutrition division of Diplomat Specialty Infusion Group, is ... nutrition support. To celebrate its anniversary, ThriveRx recently launched a ... new look with improved organization to create the best user experience for ... ... "We,ve made several great strides ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: