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New member
Apr 1, 2006

My father is having panic attacks at night (emergency doctor had to come twice), I think related to or combined with a feeling of not being able to breathe. I don't know if it was hyperventilation or panic attacks because of real disability to breathe (my father can't say it either) or just "bad thoughts" that caused these panic attacks. Emergency doctor gave him Valium, then my father of course calmed down again.

I think his diaphragm power is about 60 to 70%.

Does anybody have experience with these symptoms?

Thank you very much for replying.

Tom Weber
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Hi Tom,
Yes. I had panic attacks at night too where I'd wake up starving for air. When I got out of bed to open a window, thinking the air in the room was bad, the attack slowly went away. My doctor sent me to a sleep doctor who sent me to have a sleep study. I was wired up with wires connected all over my head and I slept the night in the lab. They found that my breathing became very weak at times in the night so I was not getting enough air. The simple solution was to get a bipap machine which provides me with positive air pressure through a face mask while I sleep. Since then, I've no more attacks and my energy level during the day had increased. This might be the route for your father. I wish him safe and secrure sleeping.
Michael FM
Hi Tom I agree with Michael. I had panic attacks too shortly after being diagnosed and the Bipap has helped. I can't lean back at all without feeling that I am smothering and when you first do research about ALS most of the literature says that most patients die in their sleep. That can make going to sleep pretty fear filled. A bit of anti anxiety meds help with that too. It worked for me before I got the Bipap.

Thank you very much for your kind replies, you two.
Thanks for the tipps.
I really like to style of that forum: very kind.
Best greetings,

Has anyone read about that diaphram pacer that they use in people that are paralised? thats proably spelled wrong. they used it in one woman that had als and it improved her breathing 10 fold i think its under clinical trial not sure. but i know its called a diaphram pacer.

best wishes
That operation is done by Dr. Onders in Cleveland, Ohio. He works out of University Hospital. They're always looking for PALS. He did the operation on Christopher Reeves. --Chad
If you do a search at the top of page. Type in diaphram pacer and it will show you a couple of links to sites related to it.
Hi Tom and everyone--

Hope it's not too late to chime in. About the heart racing, here's how it was explained to my father. If ALS has attacked your diaphragm muscles, then it's harder for you to expel the carbon dioxide when breathing out. This sends a signal to the brain that you're not getting enough oxygen, so then the heart starts beating harder to compensate--thus the panic attack feeling.

Tom, how is your father doing now? Has he seen a pulmonologist yet? Best of luck...

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