What is Motor Neurone Disease?
Motor neurone disease is a rare condition that progressively damages parts of the nervous system. This leads to muscle weakness, often with visible wasting. MND occurs when specialist nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, called motor neurones, stop working properly.
Symptoms of Motor Neurone Disease
The initial symptoms of motor neurone disease usually develop slowly and subtly over time. It can be easy to mistake early symptoms for those of many other conditions.
In about two-thirds of people, the first symptoms occur in the arm or leg. These symptoms include: a weakened grip, which can cause difficulties picking up or holding objects; weakness at the shoulder, making lifting the arm above the head difficult; tripping up over a foot because of weakness at the ankle or hip. These symptoms may be accompanied by widespread twitching of the muscles or muscle cramps, and there may be visible wasting of the muscles with significant weight loss.
In a quarter of cases, problems initially affect the muscles used for speech and swallowing.
In extremely rare cases, MND starts by affecting the lungs which causes shortness of breath.
As motor neurone disease becomes more advanced, the differences between the various types of disease are less noticeable as more parts and functions of the body are affected. The limbs will gradually become weaker and the muscles more wasted, speech and swallowing is likely to deteriorate and breathing will become less efficient.
Treatment of Motor Neurone Disease
Although there is no cure for MND, treatment can help to relieve symptoms and slow down progression of the disease.
Physiotherapy can be helpful with symptoms such as muscle cramps and muscle stiffness, to help maintain posture to assist with breathing, techniques to gain a stronger cough, suggestions of equipment, walking aids or splints, practical problem solving and advice to improve day-to-day situations
How can Neurocare Physiotherapy help me?
At Neurocare, we are all highly specialised in treating neurological conditions, so you can be confident that your physiotherapist will have the necessary experience to provide you with the specialist level of treatment which you deserve.