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Motor neuron disease (MND)

A team of HCA UK consultant neurologists and therapists can diagnose and support people with motor neuron disease

About

Motor neurone disease (MND) affects the nerves (motor neurones) in the brain and spinal cord, causing gradual weakness over time. This is because messages from the nerves gradually stop reaching the muscles, causing them to weaken, stiffen and waste. There's no cure for MND but people can live with it for many years.

Need to know

  • Symptoms of motor neuron disease icon plus

    Early symptoms of MND can include:

    • weakness in the ankle or leg
    • tripping up more often
    • slurred speech
    • difficulty swallowing
    • a weak grip
    • muscle cramps
    • twitches
    • thinning arms or leg muscles
    • difficulty to control crying
    • laughing in inappropriate situations
  • Diagnosis icon plus

    MND has similar symptoms to other diseases, which can make it harder to diagnose. You will see a consultant neurologist, who may order a lumbar puncture, when a thin needle is used to remove and test the fluid from within your spine. They may also order tests to measure the electrical activity in your muscles and nerves, as well as a scan of your brain and spine blood tests.
  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    There’s no cure for motor neurone disease, but there are various treatments and therapies that can help you manage your symptoms. A medicine to slow down the progress of the condition, and there are medicines to relieve muscle stiffness and to help make swallowing easier. Therapies include physiotherapy and exercise to reduce stiffness; speech and language therapy to help with speech; occupational therapy to make everyday tasks easier; psychological and emotional support to help you cope with the condition.
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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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