Sample Nursing Essay Paper on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis


            Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is one of neurological diseases that progressively attack the nerve cells responsible for muscle movement. These muscles necessitate activities like chewing food, voluntary walking, breathing and talking. Studies have revealed that ALS is progressive and should not be assumed in the initial stages become it has a tendency of getting worse with time (Hogden et al, 2017). The disease interferes with the normal communication from the brain, spinal cord or muscles of the body. Most of people who exhibit symptoms of ALS often die due to respiratory failure. This is because the disease comprehensively weakens muscles thus making their movement difficult. As such, communication from the spinal cord to the brain and other muscles is affected. Most Patients often die 3-5 years after showing initial symptoms while others may live for more than 10 years. ALS is of great interest to many nursing professionals because currently the disease has no cure. It has been revealed that there is need for extensive research to find the cure for ALS and prevent people from dying as a result (Majmudar et al, 2014). I got interested in the topic last year when I watched a friend die as a result of ALS. Today, ASL impacts on the nursing profession as there is need for a multidisciplinary care focused on managing symptoms and the role that nursing professionals play in delivering such care to patients. Individual patient is affected negatively because as the disease progresses it becomes difficult to walk, eat or even speak. A family is affected negative since they are likely to spend a lot of resources on medication and provision of care thereby affecting their lifestyle. When people die, a community loses in terms of reduced labor and valuable contributions.


ALS has gained more interest from many quarters including medical institutions, research institutes and professional bodies. Most of research is aimed an unearthing fundamental issues of the brain and the nervous system to help reduce the burden of ALS. Current studies are focused on understanding the cellular mechanisms involved in the progression of the disease (Hogden et al, 2013). Also, studies aim to investigate impacts of genetics on human body and develop new methods of treatment and care. Further, researchers are actively involved in investigating the role played by epigenetics in the development of the disease. Scientific research in the past years has brought up new scientific physiology understanding of the disease (Jackson et al, 2015). For that matter, there is a current FDA-approved drug, riluzole that discreetly slows the progression of ALS in some patients. Despite not having a cure for the disease, scientists have made significant contribution in learning more about the disease.


Researchers have dedicated a lot of their time in investigating various aspects of the disease and how to stop the progression of ALS to patients. However, they have not been able to come up with comprehensive treatment drugs for the disease. These studies are aimed at assuring safety and efficacy of the treatment in patients before actually offering it (Hogden et al, 2015).  The disease devastates motor neurons that connect the spinal cord to body muscles. Treatment options resulting from research have proved useful and looked promising but all have disappointed in the clinic. Current research has discovered that the disease progresses as a result of mutations in dozen of genes thus instigating the disease (Hogden et al, 2015). Most of the drugs arising from research have just been able to address one of those mutations. Therefore, future research should provide the framework and opportunity to pretest whether numerous ideas are true across all forms of mutations and ALS.


Research on ALS is useful to nursing practice because it delivers appropriate symptoms management initiatives in managing patients. Consequently, research identifies and coordinates inter-personal care provided by populations that meets expectations in management and treatment of ALS. Moreover, it increases evidence based care, strong interpersonal communication and funds aimed at empowering community caregivers. From the literature review, it is clear that a lot of research has been conducted but none has been able to explain why genes associated with the disease mutate and how to stop such mutation and progression. Inter-personal and inter-disciplinary care provision areas are likely to be impacted by this research information. For instance, care will move to managing actual mutation of genes at different stages to prevent progression.


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Sclerosis: improving care with a multidisciplinary approach. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. [ONLINE] Available at: Accessed November 3, 2017.

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Hogden, A., Greenfield, D., Nugus, P., Kiernan, M. (2015). Development of a model to guide

decision making in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis multidisciplinary care. Health Expect. [ONLINE] Available at: Accessed November 3, 2017.

Jackson, C., McVey, A., Rudnicki, S., Dimachkie, M. and Barohn R. (2015). Symptom

management and end-of-life care in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Neurol Clinic. [ONLINE] Available at: Accessed November 3, 2017.

Majmudar, S., Wu, J. and Paganoni S. (2014). Rehabilitation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis:

why it matters. Muscle Nerve. [ONLINE] Available at: Accessed November 3, 2017.