When ALS Robs Its Victim of Every Skill He Had

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Communicating via Ezer Mizion AAC device

We tend to take our abilities for granted. Scratching a mosquito bite, calling out to a friend across the street, running for a bus, licking an ice cream cone…these are all simple daily activities until one finds he no longer is capable of performing these previously effortless actions.

Muscular movement is controlled by the neurological system. Motor neurons ‘tell the muscles what to do’. But if they don’t? That is when we begin to realize just how complex our bodies are. A person finds he can no longer perform actions that have been part of his life since infancy.

This is what happens in ALS. The motor neurons are gradually lost and the muscles they control become weak and then non-functional.  ALS stands for amyotrophic (without nourishment to muscles) lateral (affecting the side of the spinal cord) sclerosis (the hardened nature of the spinal cord). Its onset is gradual and, at first, the symptoms are merely annoying: dropping things, tripping, perhaps slurred speech. Slowly, other muscles become involved including those that help us breathe. Up until five years ago, life expectancy was short with death often due to respiratory failure and lack of ability to ingest nutrition but due to recent technological advances in prolonging life, some ALS patients can now live for decades.

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Reuven maintains his connection to his world using Ezer Mizion AAC equipment despite the ravages of ALS

The question then arises regarding the quality of life of these patients. A typical end stage Amytrophic Lateral Sclerosis patient is not mobile at all. He lies in his bed or recliner, unable to lift his arm to reach for a tissue, unable to swallow food, unable to ask for a drink. He is completely dependent on his caretaker for every need. Continue reading When ALS Robs Its Victim of Every Skill He Had

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Is “He” Still There?

pr voca Moti Ayish - Yaakov Cohen 13912880_684892444997028_5354953480749066038_n ok to use“It could happen to anyone. Maybe to the person who passes your house each day on the way to work or the man sitting across from you on the train. This time it happened to my ozeret. A very nice lady who has been coming to clean for me for years,” relates Yonit  Hagoel-Karnieli, Director of Ezer Mizion’s Speech Generating Devices Lending Center.    “She was telling me about her brother-in-law who had a sudden heart attack. The heart attack led to a stroke which resulted in almost complete paralysis. From being a beloved member of a family, an active community member, he became a nothing- a “vegetable”. My ozeret was so upset. Continue reading Is “He” Still There?

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Google Chooses Ezer Mizion

Google.org has announced the allocation of grants to promote technological innovations that will make the world more accessible and focus on solutions for people with disabilities.

Ezer Mizion was chosen by Google for its project with Click2speak, an Israeli start-up, to develop an on-screen eye-tracking operated keyboard that will enable people with high cognitive function and limited mobility to communicate and control their environment. Continue reading Google Chooses Ezer Mizion

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