TUG Testing for Firdapse
After my appointment with my new neuromuscular neurologist, we decided to add Firdapse to my treatment plan. Unfortunately, my insurance denied it as they did previously. They requested I have a physical therapist perform a TUG test to see “if the medication is necessary.”
A TUG test is known as a timed-up-and-go test. Essentially this test is completed to assess your risk for falling. I was sitting in a chair and had to get up and walk down the hall 10 feet and back. The PT advised me to do it “as fast as possible.” I had to do this three times, timed. I was instructed not to take my Firdapse because it would skew the results.
My trial results:
Trial 1: 6.71 s
Trial 2. 5.05 s
I actually did the trial three times but she forgot to start the stopwatch the second time, so I had to repeat it. As expected, the time decreased with time/movement. This is normal for LEMS.
So how did I do?
An older adult who takes ≥12 seconds to complete the TUG is at risk of falling. I’m not sure how this will affect whether they deny or approve Firdapse, but I feel it will work against me.
I also read in several different articles that you should “walk at your normal pace” for the test, so I’m not sure if it’s “at your pace” or “as fast as you can” — there is a big difference between the two in my book. This is a test you could definitely perform at home, I would be really interested to see some of your results!
I’ll update you guys as soon as I have more info!
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