What is MND / ALS?

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Motor neurone disease (MND) is also known as ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) or Lou Gehrig’s disease. It’s a group of diseases affecting the motor neurones (nerves) in the brain and spinal cord that send messages to your muscles. MND causes these messages to gradually stop telling the muscles what to do making them stiffen, weaken, and eventually waste.

MND affects everyone differently; there is no clear cut rate of progression making the course of the disease difficult to predict. MND can affect your legs, arms, talking, swallowing, breathing and energy levels. Some people also experience changes to their thinking and behaviour. MND affects everyone differently; not all symptoms will affect everyone, or in the same order.

MND is life-shortening and there is no cure. Treatment involves management of symptoms to help maintain a good quality of life.

MND usually presents when you are 50 years old or more. It’s more common in men than women, but this evens out with age.

MND affects up to 5,000 adults in the UK at any one time which means it’s considered a relatively rare disease. Most health and social care professionals have not seen many cases of MND, so you should be referred to professionals who are specialists.

Diagnosis is done by a process of elimination and there isn’t a specific test to tell you whether you have it. There are different types of MND and symptoms will vary depending on which type you’ve got.

For more detailed information please visit the MND Association site