Clinical update

Motor neurone disease

Motor neurone disease describes a group of related diseases, affecting the neurones in the brain and spinal cord.

Essential facts

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence published guidance on MND in February. It recommends a range of health and social care professionals be involved at every stage of care, enabling decisions to be tailored to individual needs.

Picture credit: SPL

MND can be difficult to diagnose because it affects each person differently. There is no definitive set of symptoms or specific diagnostic test, which means other conditions need to be eliminated first. Early symptoms can include mild weakness, such as loss of dexterity, falls and trips, muscle wasting, twitching, cramps and stiffness, slightly slurred speech, or breathing and swallowing problems. There may also be cognitive changes. Although there is currently no cure, symptoms can be managed.

There is evidence suggesting the incidence of MND is increasing, but this might be due to more accurate testing,


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