Motor Neuron Diseases: FAQs
Are you or someone you know suffering from strange movement dysfunctions that you’ve never noticed before? If that’s true, chances are it might be motor neuron disease. And if that’s the case, there is no cure for this disease.
Sounds scary… There’s more you should know about this disease. Keep reading.
What is Motor Neuron Disease?
Motor Neuron Disease (MND) is a progressive neurological disorder that affects your motor nerves (that control the skeletal muscles of your body which are responsible for functions such as walking, breathing, speaking, and swallowing). You might notice early symptoms of shaky hands or imbalances in standing. As this disease progresses rapidly, once you get diagnosed the chances are you can live only for 0-5 years (although with good care and treatment, you might live for 10 years or more). There is no cure for this disease but with the help of treatment, you can control the symptoms.
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Progressive bulbar palsy
- Primary lateral sclerosis
- Progressive muscular atrophy
- Spinal muscular atrophy
- Kennedy’s disease
- Post-polio syndrome
What are the causes of MND?
Although, what causes MND is still unknown. But some research studies indicate these causes:
- Being exposed to toxins and chemicals.
- Exposure to viruses
- Genetic factors
- Inflammation and damage to neurons caused by immune responses or by accidental head injury
- Nerve growth factors
- Defects in neuronal repairs
- Hereditary traits (Found in 5 to 10% of cases)
- Around 90 to 95% of cases are sporadic.
What are the symptoms of MND?
MND affects everybody differently. Symptoms that you might notice include:
- Muscle twitching, cramps, or aching
- Muscles weakening and stiff joints
- Slurred speech
- Problems in swallowing, chewing, and speaking
- Pain and discomfort
- Fatigue and weight loss
- Breathing problems
- Emotional instability (inappropriate responses with emotions like laughing in sad situations)
- Changes in thinking and behavior
Who is at risk?
MND can happen to anyone whether they are adults or children. Males are more affected than females. In children, it can be present from birth or in their early childhood. In adults, it is mostly found when they are in their 60s or above. But in some cases, it is also found in the early 40s. So, it can affect any age.
How to treat MND?
Even after much research, there is no cure for MND. However, you can control the symptoms with available treatments.
- Medications such as Riluzole, Edaravone, Nusinersen, etc. are used to treat diseases like ALS, and SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy). For muscle relaxation-baclofen, tizanidine, and benzodiazepines may be prescribed by the doctor. For muscle weaknesses or stiffness, you might need botulinum toxin injections from a doctor.
- There are some support therapies for improving posture, preventing joint immobility, muscle weakness, strengthening bones and muscles, etc. through physiotherapy, and occupational therapy.
- You can use a CPAP machine to prevent sleep apnea. Some people also need them during the day because of weak muscles in the neck, throat, and chest.
Motor Neuron Disease is a life-threatening disease that can make life tough.
Want to know more about the treatments and therapies that work for you?
At Doral Health and Wellness, we have doctors that can help you manage your condition. For more information, you can visit us at 1797 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, 11212, or call us at 1-347-384-5690. You can also visit our website at https://doralhw.org or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any queries.