Motor Neuron Disease

Motor Neuron Disease (MND) is a group of related diseases affecting the motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord.

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Motor Neuron Disease

Motor neurons are the nerve cells along which the brain sends instructions, in the form of electrical impulses, to the muscles.

In motor neuron diseases, these nerves degenerate causing weakness and wasting of muscles. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most common form of the disease and in the USA it is commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Motor neuron disease is generally a steadily progressive disease, but the rate of progression varies greatly from one person to another. However severe, there is not normally any effect on hearing, intellectual function or awareness. Sexual function and full control of the bladder and bowels is normally retained.

There is no known cure for motor neuron disease. Depending on the part of the body first affected, the survival time varies from two to ten years with some people surviving for more than 20 years.

Motor neuron disease is a disease of adulthood and it is most common among people aged 50 to 70 and is slightly more common in men than women. Approximately one person in 50,000 will develop motor neuron disease in any one year.

Support groups can be very important in helping people with MND and their families to cope as the disease progresses.


Other sources of information for these topics.

Motor Neuron Diseases Information Page: National Institute of ...
Motor neuron diseases information sheet compiled by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

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