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STUDY BASICS

Have you been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)? You may be able to participate in a research study to help find out if breathing exercises result in immediate fatigue that may lead to complications in people who have ALS, and to find out if a small noninvasive sensor attached to the throat can measure swallowing fatigue. Involves 2 in-person visits. Compensation is provided.


STUDY PURPOSE

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a disease of the nervous system that affects muscle function throughout the body. Over time, most people with ALS have swallowing problems, which can result in difficulty eating, weight loss, and aspirating food or drink into the lungs. Evidence suggests that breathing exercises can improve swallowing in patients with other diseases, but little is known about the use of breathing exercises in patients who have ALS.

The purpose of this study is to help find out if breathing exercises result in immediate swallowing fatigue that can lead to shortness of breath or choking in people who have ALS, and to find out if a small noninvasive sensor attached to the neck can measure swallowing fatigue in people who have ALS. Researchers hope their findings lead to a better understanding of how breathing exercises affect people with ALS and better recommendations for the use of breathing exercises in the future.

 

COULD THIS STUDY BE RIGHT FOR YOU?
  • Ages 18 and up
  • Diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Able to eat and drink all foods/liquids, and do not avoid any food/liquids due to difficulty swallowing
  • Not allergic to barium
  • Not oxygen dependent
  • No tracheostomy/mechanical ventilation use
  • No history of other neurological or respiratory disorders
  • No history of smoking
  • No history of head and neck cancer or other major head/neck surgery or radiation therapy

 

 


WHAT PARTICIPANTS CAN EXPECT

Participation in this study involves 2 in-person visits that will take about 1. 5 hours each. Participants will be asked to fill out questionnaires, perform breathing and swallowing tests, complete breathing exercises while wearing a small sensor attached to the neck, and undergo an x-ray swallow study.

 

IRB:
  STUDY20060082 - Quantifying Exercise-Induced Fatigue of the Respiratory and Swallowing Musculature in Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

RESEARCH AREAS:
  Featured Research

Age Range
AGE:   18 and up

Duration DURATION:  About 3 hours total
VISITS:  2

Location LOCATION: 
UPMC Presbyterian Hospital - Oakland
Compensation COMPENSATION: 

Up to $50

Phone Number PHONE NUMBER:
1-866-438-8230
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Phone Number PHONE NUMBER:
1-866-438-8230

MEET THE RESEARCHER


Cara Donohue

Cara Donohue, MA, CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist who specializes in swallowing evaluation and management at the MDA-ALS Center and a doctoral student in the Department of Communication Science and Disorders at the University of Pittsburgh.




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