Motor neurone disease (MND) describes a group of diseases that affect the nerves (motor neurones) in the brain and spinal cord that tell your muscles what to do.
With MND, messages from the motor neurones gradually stop reaching the muscles. This leads the muscles to weaken, stiffen and waste. MND can affect how you walk, talk, eat, drink and breathe. Some people also experience changes to their thinking and behaviour. However, MND affects everyone differently. Not all symptoms will affect everyone, or in the same order. Symptoms also progress at varying speeds, which makes the course of the disease difficult to predict.
MND is life-shortening and there is no cure. Although the disease will progress, symptoms can be managed to help achieve the best possible quality of life.
There is a 1 in 300 risk of getting MND across a lifetime. It can affect adults of any age, but is more likely to affect people over 50.
MND affects up to 5,000 adults in the UK at any one time. As this is not a common disease, general health and social care professionals may not see many cases of MND. This means it is important to seek out specialists who have appropriate experience in its treatment and care – usually with referral to neurological services.
For more information, you may like to visit the national MND Association’s website for health and social care services.