Aids and Adaptive Devices for Hand Dexterity for LEMS Patients

Emily Malcolm, PhD avatar

by Emily Malcolm, PhD |

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LEMS patients

If you have Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS) you may find that the disease affects your hand dexterity as it progresses. While you can work with a physiotherapist to improve your strength and coordination, you may find that you also need the help of an occupational therapist who can prescribe aids and adaptive devices to help you with hand dexterity.

Each patient’s needs are unique and an occupational therapist will be able to “walk you through” your day to help identify the tasks with which you are struggling. For some tasks, an adaptive device may help; for others, your occupational therapist may be able to show you a way of performing the task that will be easier for you without any aid or device.

There also may be strengthening exercises that you can do with your hands to improve muscle function and slow disease progression.

Here are some examples of aids and adaptive devices, if you need one.

Dexterity devices for everyday tasks

Patients with LEMS may struggle with daily tasks such as getting dressed and brushing teeth or hair.

There are devices to help with these tasks, including grips for zipper pulls and reachers that make grasping items easier. Many patients may benefit from devices to help put on socks and shoes. Elastic laces or Velcro straps can be added to most shoes to make dressing easier.

Writing aids

For most people, writing is an important part of their day — signing their name, writing to friends, making lists, etc. There are many devices that can help if you are having trouble gripping a pen, pencil, or stylus. This can be something larger to wrap around the writing implement (something soft and larger that’s easier to hold), or a strap that lets you tie the writing implement to your hand or wrist.

For patients who have trouble typing, there are voice-to-text devices (in addition to the ones on most smartphones) and programs that can be added to computers to make written communication easier.


Last updated: Feb. 11, 2020


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