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Motor Neuron Disease

Motor Neuron Disease is caused when Motor

Neurons in the brain and spinal cord stop
working properly. It affects 2 in every
10,000 people in the UK. Men are usually
more affected and most cases are of people
in their 60s. Scientists dont know why it is
caused but they think that faulty genes are
a part of causing the condition (as that is
the reason that has been found in 5% of the
cases). There is no test to know if someone
has Motor neuron disease but the
symptoms become more visible over time
and usually start on one side of the body
and spread gradually. It is thought to be
connected with a type of dementia that can affect peoples
It causes difficulty in doing simple things like
gripping picking up objects
walking weak ankle muscles & legs dragging
speaking & swallowing slurred speech
movement arms cant lift
There is no cure but the best you can do is to make the person
feel comfortable and try to find replacements for things that
they cant do. For example:
A breathing mask to stop breathing difficulties.
A feeding tube for nutrition.
Medicines to control oral secretions
It is a severe disease than can kill you by shortening your life
and the life expectancy is around 3-4 years after the discovery
of the symptoms. It is fatal because it causes breathing
difficulties which can lead to heart infections. However, with
support, patients can live a close to normal life. Patients usually

die peacefully in their sleep. Children of someone with motor

neuron disease can be at a risk of getting this disease for the
whole of their lives.