Motor Neurone Disease Symptoms, Prevention, And Treatment


The term "motor neurone disease" (MND) refers to a variety of illnesses. Motor nerves, sometimes referred to as motor neurons, are affected by several disorders. These neurons deteriorate and pass away in MND. As a result, the muscles get progressively weaker. This ultimately results in paralysis. The MND illness category consists of:

  • Kennedy's disease, also known as the spine and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA)
  •  Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, often known as Lou Gehrig's illness (ALS)
  • Progressive muscular atrophy (PMA)
  • Progressive bulbar palsy (PBP)
  • Primary lateral sclerosis (PLS), and MND, are rare diseases. MND is often diagnosed in patients when they are 58 years old.

The uncommon condition known as motor neurone disease has an effect on the brain and nerves (MND). It results in weakness that progressively grows worse.

Although there is no known cure for MND, there are therapies that can lessen how it affects a person's day-to-day activities. Some people have the ailment for a very long time.

Regrettably, MND eventually causes death and significantly shortens life expectancy.


MND's precise aetiology is unknown. MND cannot be contracted from someone.

MND is generally thought to be brought on by a confluence of environmental, behavioral, and genetic factors. Most MND patients do not have a clear aetiology when they first appear.

Around 1 in 10 instances are "familial," which means the illness is inherited. A genetic mutation or gene mistake is to blame for this.

Your children have a 50/50 probability of inheriting any genetic mutation linked to MND from you if you have it.

You can screen your family members for genetic mutation if someone in your family has MND. When you have met with a genetic counselor, a test is scheduled. Also, assistance and counseling on potential test outcomes. Blood is often used for the test.

The likelihood of having MND is quite high in individuals who inherit the genetic mutation. Yet it is crucial to keep in mind that not everyone with the genetic mutation will have MND.

How to check if you have Motor Neurone Disease?

See your doctor if you experience any early MND symptoms. Your doctor can test you for the genetic mutation if MND runs in your family.


MND is a condition that progresses over time and frequently begins slowly before getting worse. Before spreading, symptoms often begin on one side of the body. Typically, these are the first things people notice:

They have slurred speech, weak legs, and a propensity to trip. Their wrists and shoulders are weak, making lifting difficult. They also have cramps and twitching muscles.

Those who have MND:

  • Become very weakened and move very little or not at all
  • Developing speaking, breathing, and swallowing challenges
  • Some MND patients experience a specific form of dementia.

MND will not impair your capacity for:

  • Seeing
  • Hearing
  • Smell
  • Taste
  • Touch

Motor neurone disease symptoms develop gradually and may not be noticeable at first.

Earlier signs may include:

  • You might trip if your ankle or leg is weak, and it will be more difficult for you to climb stairs.
  • Slurred speech, which might progress to making it difficult to swallow particular meals.
  • A weak grasp might cause you to drop objects, struggle to open jars or struggle to zip up clothing.
  • Muscular twitches and cramps
  • Weight loss - over time, the muscles in your arms or legs may have gotten thinner.
  • Problems controlling inappropriate tears or laughter.

Although it may affect individuals of various ages, motor neurone disease is a rare disorder that primarily affects persons in their 60s and 70s.

It is brought on by a problem with motor neurones, which are brain and nerve cells.

With time, these cells gradually lose their function. The cause of this is unknown.

You may be more susceptible to developing motor neuron disease or frontotemporal dementia if you have a close family who has either of these diseases.

Yet in most situations, it does not run in families.


A person with MND often needs support from a variety of professionals, including:

  • The general public
  • Occupational therapists and neurologists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Language therapists
  • Psychologists
  • Home health nurses
  • The social workers

MND has no known treatment. Yet, much may be accomplished with the aid of experts to:

  • Keep your standard of living intact
  • Maintain your mobility for as long as feasible

To help with movement and function, you might need the assistance of gadgets and house modifications. They might consist of:

  • A tube for a ventilator that uses wheelchair communication technology

Most MND patients pass away within 2 to 3 years of being diagnosed. Yet some people have a lengthy lifespan. Motor neurone disease has no known cure, although therapy can lessen how much of an impact the symptoms have on your daily life.

Treatments include:

  • Highly specialized clinics, usually with a specialist nurse and occupational therapist make daily tasks easier
  • Exercises and physiotherapy to keep your strength and loosen up
  • Advice from a speech and language therapist 
  • Advice from a dietitian about diet and eating a medication called riluzole that can slightly slow down the progression of the condition
  • Medications to relieve muscle stiffness and help with saliva issues emotional support for you and your partner

The progression of motor neuron disease is a progressive deterioration.

Moving, swallowing, and breathing becomes more challenging,

Additional therapies like breathing air through a face mask or a feeding tube may be required.

The length of time it takes for the ailment to get to this point varies greatly. A small number of persons with motor neurone disease survive for decades.

You could wish to remain ignorant of your potential lifespan. If you want to learn more, consult a doctor or a member of your care team.

Complications of Motor Neurone Disease

MND's late-stage disease is related to its consequences. Paralysis and respiratory failure may be involved with this.


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Page last reviewed: Mar 29, 2023

Next review due: Mar 29, 2025

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