The future of ALS devices: Next gen assistive technology aims to give patients a voice

By Abi Millar

People with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) often face serious communication challenges. A neurodegenerative condition, which affects the motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord, ALS causes progressive muscle weakening. In the later stages of the disease, patients struggle to chew, swallow, speak and even breathe.

At this point in time, patients will need to use special devices to help them with these basic functions. Sadly, there is no cure for the condition, although assistive technologies – ranging from mobility aids to high-tech communication devices – may go a long way towards improving patients’ quality of life.

This applies even when the disease is very advanced, and the patient is nearing a ‘locked-in’ state. There are various technologies on the market designed to help them make their wishes known.

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