Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS) is a rare autoimmune disorder that affects the neuromuscular junction, the point where the nerve cells meet the muscle cells.

Symptoms associated with LEMS include muscle weakness, pain, fatigue, speech and swallowing problems, and eye problems.

LEMS patients may need aids and adaptive devices to help with mobility and other daily activities.

Mobility devices

An occupational therapist may recommend canes or walkers depending on the requirements of the patient to improve mobility and for safety. In severe conditions, mobility devices such as wheelchairs or power scooters may be necessary. In addition to helping with mobility, these devices can also ease fatigue in LEMS patients.

Orthotic braces are available to provide support to muscles and joints. These include hand, wrist, and foot braces, and footwear that can be used according to the patient’s needs.

Aids and assistive devices for daily tasks

Aids and assistive devices enable more independence with daily activities such as bathing, grooming, dressing, feeding, drinking, cooking, and toileting. These include:

  • grab rails and handrails in the bathroom, toilet, stairs, and walls to provide support and reduce the risk of injuries
  • modified cups, plates, bowls, and drinking aids (according to a person’s needs)
  • specially designed kitchen aids, including easy openers, knob and tap turners, utensil holders, meal preparation aids, and kitchen appliances
  • utensils with grip aids for those with difficulties in fine motor skills and with grasping
  • specialized hygiene tools and accessories to promote cleanliness and hygiene
  • dressing and grooming aids
  • modified sleeping surfaces to help promote good sleep
  • mechanical ventilation in cases of respiratory muscle weakness
  • technological devices to assist with difficulties in speaking and writing
  • vision aids and devices to help with vision problems that are common in LEMS patients because of weakness in the eye muscles

An occupational therapist is able to advise patients and caregivers about the right type of aid and adaptive device for them, so patients carry out everyday daily living activities as independently as possible.

 

Last updated: Oct. 24, 2019

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Lambert-Eaton News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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Özge has a MSc. in Molecular Genetics from the University of Leicester and a PhD in Developmental Biology from Queen Mary University of London. She worked as a Post-doctoral Research Associate at the University of Leicester for six years in the field of Behavioural Neurology before moving into science communication. She worked as the Research Communication Officer at a London based charity for almost two years.