June is Myasthenia Gravis Awareness Month, a campaign dedicated to raising consciousness about this complex auto-immune disorder. In honor of this campaign, this week, SANY will focus on how myasthenia gravis and how it can affect speech and communication.
Myasthenia gravis is a neuromuscular disease in which there is a disruption in the communication between nerves and muscles. Antibodies produced by the person’s immune system block the connection between the nerve and muscle, preventing effective contraction of the muscle. This results in weakness of the voluntary muscles. This weakness increases during periods of activity and improves after periods of rest.
A speech-language pathologist is often involved in the rehabilitation of patients with myasthenia gravis. The muscles which control facial expression, chewing, talking, and swallowing are some of the earliest affected by this disorder, which can result in difficulties communicating and swallowing. In these cases, a speech-language pathologist will conduct an evaluation to determine how the individual’s speech, voice, or feeding abilities are affected. A course of therapy will then be determined based on the patient’s particular muscle weakness. The speech-language pathologist will help the patient to develop strategies for communicating with muscle fatigue. In more severe cases, the speech-language pathologist may recommend an alternative and alternative communication device to help the patient communicate for longer periods of time without becoming fatigued.
To learn more about myasthenia gravis and what you can do to help find a cure, check out the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation ofAmericaat http://www.myasthenia.org.
If you or a loved one are experiencing a communication disorder, contact Speech Associates of New York today to find a professional speech-language pathologist who can help you communicate to your fullest. Remember, early intervention is the key to maintaining and developing strong communication skills.