What is Motor Neurone Disease

The Effects of Motor Neurone Disease

Motor Neurone Disease is a series of neurological disorders which affect the motor neurons. These motor neurons are special cells which control the voluntary movements of the body and can be problematic depending on several different factors. The disease occurs worldwide and really will not discriminate amongst who gets it most. There are different kinds which are also possible as well and may only affect certain parts of the body when the disorder is present in the person. The following types can happen separately or all together when someone has Motor Neurone Disease:

Speech – the neurons which are used to control speech function can be damaged or unable to process commands correctly. This causes the speech to come out slurred, with a stutter as well as several other types of speech problems. This can be severe enough to even cause someone to stop speaking because of embarrassment or simply the difficulty it imposes on their life.

Walking - Since walking is voluntary, it is commanded by the neurons in the spine. These motor functions can cause a person to not be able to walk or have difficulty while walking. Sudden changes to the walking patterns as well as hops or other types of movement can occur when the Motor Neurone Disease is present.

Breathing – Usually, breathing is carried out auto somatically and does not require us to control it to live. Individuals with Motor Neurone Disease may have very difficult times when breathing because their body sends a signal to stop the movement of the lungs and surrounding tissues to allow for the proper breathing process to occur. People can pass out and even die from Motor Neurone Disease when this occurs.

Swallowing – Difficulty in swallowing food may occur because of the Motor Neurone Disease. This can be dangerous and cause choking in individuals who do not chew their food well enough. This makes it much more dangerous to eat solid foods, especially when the individual is already in advanced age. There is no real way to prevent this from happening when they are eating because they cannot control their involuntary muscle movements that causes their swallowing process to happen.

General Movements – General ability to move and do anything with their muscles and tissues can be really difficult to deal with because of Motor Neurone Disease. A very simple action for someone without the disease can be an extremely difficult task for someone that does have it. It can get as bad enough to the point where the individuals can no longer live by themselves or be left alone for significant amounts of time.

Who can Get Motor Neurone Disease

There is no set definition on who can or cannot get Motor Neurone Disease. It is known that there are several different people who are at greater risk for the disorders to affect them. About ninety percent of all of the Motor Neurone Disease cases are sporadic and have no previous familial history of the disease. The other ten percent are linked to possible hereditary backgrounds where family members have had the disease before. It is very difficult to pinpoint whether or not someone will get the disease but it is certainly not very easy to deal with once someone does.

Symptoms of Motor Neurone Disease

Symptoms may or may not be noticed until much later in life even in the late 50′s throughout the 70′s. The disease can easily progress very fast to making the individuals unable to do things for themselves. Symptoms can also vary from person to person and be much more severe in some instances for those who have a worse off condition. Symptoms usually progressively get worse over time and will eventually become difficult to live with when the damages it produces to the neurons makes it nearly impossible to do anything. The common symptoms that are usually noticed by those who are affected include:

Weakness – Weakness is one of the major problems that is experienced because they are unable to forcibly do something with their muscles even though their muscles are fine at first. The weakness can be very slight and can grow with time to not being able to move the muscles at all. This can lead to even more severe problems with time.

Muscle Atrophy – Muscle atrophy occurs from several reasons but it can also occur through Motor Neurone Disease. The muscles will simply waste away because they are not being utilized enough, or the body is not sending the correct signals to allow for the nutrients being consumed to make their way to the body part. This can mostly occur from not using the muscles, which can occur easily through Motor Neurone Disease and then the muscles and bone tissue waste away. This can result in loss of strength as well as mass.

Loss of Control – Those who need definite control of the motor neurons which are affected through Motor Neurone Disease will certainly see a noticeable difference in the ability to control them. They may not be able to stop from performing a certain action or they may be unable to carry out simple processes. It is very difficult to look into because loss of control can be attributed to many other disorders as well as plain aging of the body. It is important to really get an accurate diagnosis to treat the disease.

Diagnosis of Motor Neurone Disease

Getting an accurate diagnosis for Motor Neurone Disease is possible through clinical testing. The tests will not be able to determine Motor Neurone Disease exactly, but it can help to rule out other possible disorders which can be affecting the body at the time. Those who have a family history of the disease will possibly be diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease because of how it is linked to hereditary influences.

Treatment Motor Neurone Disease

There is no cure for Motor Neurone Disease , but there is hope for the relief of Symptoms. Many medicines have been developed to help with the pain and suffering that those with Motor Neurone Disease will most likely go through during their time with the disorders. They may also seek physical therapy and sessions for massage and other services which can help them stay self sufficient. Those who do nothing about the condition are most likely those which will suffer most and pass away most quickly. Therapy can help improve the situation for the individuals but it will not prevent the worse from happening (although it may prolong it).

Patient Outlook and Prognosis with Motor Neurone Disease

Most people who are diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease will expect to die within 5-10 years of diagnosis. Since the degeneration of neuron connections increasingly makes it much more dangerous to do things on their own, these patients will most likely have to have someone help them do everything. The Motor Neurone Disease will most likely be the cause of the patient’s death in one way or another. Prolonging the death of the individual is possible through effective treatments but death is almost inevitable.

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