Motor neurone disease

Dr Rhys Roberts, MND advisers and a multidisciplinary therapy team support and run weekly clinics to diagnose, treat patients with symptoms of MND.
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Motor neurone disease is a rare condition which occurs when parts of the nervous system become damaged and specialist nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord – called motor neurones – stop working properly. This means that over time, messages stop reaching muscles around the body, leading to progressive weakness and muscle wasting.

A life-changing condition, motor neurone disease affects everybody differently, but often causes increasing loss of mobility and difficulty walking, speaking, swallowing and breathing.

If your GP thinks you may have motor neurone disease, you will be referred to our neurology department for specialist tests. This could include an MRI scan, blood test and EMG (electromyography), which records how well the nerves and muscles are carrying electrical messages around the body.

If the tests confirm the diagnosis, we will work with you to develop a personal plan to help you manage your condition and any symptoms you have so that you feel comfortable and have the best possible quality of life. Treatments could include physiotherapy to help with joint problems, medication such as riluzole to slow the disease and relieve pain, muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory drugs. Our team will also be able to direct you to groups and charities which can offer you further support.

Although there is no cure for motor neurone disease, research is currently taking place into new treatments to help with the difficulties it can cause.

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