Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is the name given to a group of similar illnesses. These illnesses all cause damage to the nerves called motor neurones, which are are the nerves that carry the messages which control our muscles.
A common early sign of MND is increasing muscle weakness. This can show up in many different ways such as not being able to do something you could easily do before. Depending on which muscles are affected this early weakness could perhaps cause you trouble walking or lifting your arms. In about one case in four, it can start in the muscles we use to speak, chew and swallow; this can cause slurred speech and eating difficulties for some people.
Some people can experience cognitive impairment. This means there may be changes in their thinking and behaviour, which can affect their memory, concentration, learning or language. Few people experience severe cognitive change.
There are many different kinds of problems that motor neurone disease can cause. However, it is important to remember that not everyone is affected in the same way. Just because something is mentioned here it doesn‟t mean it will definitely happen to everyone who is affected by MND. Some people with MND never lose the use of their hands, others never lose the use of their voice and others are always able to walk.
The damage caused by MND is progressive, which means that the damage gets worse with time. As the disease progresses any affected muscles will weaken until, perhaps, the muscle can no longer work properly. As well as this, the effects of the disease will normally spread to other muscles in the same area. This can often cause the loss of use of that limb or part of the body.
More information about MND can be found here.