Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is a progressive disease that attacks the motor neurones, or nerves, in the brain and spinal cord. This means messages gradually stop reaching muscles, which leads to weakness and wasting.

MND can affect how you walk, talk, eat, drink and breathe. However, not all symptoms necessarily happen to everyone and it is unlikely they will all develop at the same time, or in any specific order.

Although there is currently no cure for MND, symptoms can be managed to help you achieve the best possible quality of life.

Common symptoms and effects of MND
Pain and discomfort: are not caused directly by MND, but may have several indirect causes.

Muscle cramps and spasms: may be relieved by changing position when relaxing in a chair or bed.

Stiff joints: can be helped with gentle exercise.

Incontinence: is not usually associated with MND, but may occur if mobility is restricted and getting to the toilet becomes more difficult.

Bowel problems: are not usually caused directly by MND, but constipation may occur due to restricted mobility and/or changes to diet. 

Speech and communication issues: occur for some people living with MND. A speech and language therapist (SaLT) can help with techniques and suggestions for communication aids.

Eating and drinking difficulties: may become an issue if swallowing is affected. A speech and language therapist (SaLT) can help with techniques and a dietitian can advise on changes to diet or equipment to help maintain calorie intake.

Saliva and mucous: may cause issues if problems occur with swallowing. Saliva may pool in the mouth or it may become thick and sticky

Coughing and a feeling of choking: may occur as a result of food or saliva becoming lodged in the airway

Breathing: Respiratory muscle weakness affects most people with MND. When this happens you will need a breathing assessment from a respiratory consultant.

Cognitive changes: may occur for some people living with MND, where difficulties with memory, learning, language and poor concentration may be experienced. This is commonly known as cognitive change. Some of these effects may be quite subtle, while for others the change can be more pronounced and noticeable.


• LOCAL SUPPORT GROUP - 01942 712740 (Contact Ted Pierce, 12 Langholme Road, Garswood) - South Lancs Branch of National Association, meet monthly at Thistle Hotel , Penny Lane, Haydock at 7.30pm, Contact Joan Fishwick on 01744 894298


• NATIONAL ORGANISATION - - information about the illness, information on support available for patient and Carer




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