Bournemouth Physiotherapy
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Motor Neurone Disease

Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks the upper and lower motor neurones.

Degeneration of the motor neurones leads to weakness and wasting of muscles, causing increasing loss of mobility in the limbs, and difficulties with speech, swallowing and breathing.

What are Motor Neurones?

The term lower motor neuron applies to nerve cells located in the spinal cord that send long nerve fibres (or axons) out of the Central Nervous System (CNS) to control muscles. The term upper motor neurone applies to nerve cells located in the brain which send nerve fibres down the spine to relay the movement message to the lower motor neuron. In Motor Neurone Disease, these nerves degenerate and aren’t able to send impulses properly to the muscles, but no one really know why this happens.

Different types of MND

There are four main types of MND, each affecting people in different ways. There can be a great deal of overlap between all of these forms, so, while it is useful to separate the various types of the disease, in practise it is not always possible to be so specific.

1. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

This is the most common form, with both upper and lower motor neurone involvement. This form of the disease is characterised by weakness and wasting in the limbs. Someone may notice they are tripping when walking or dropping things.

2. Progressive bulbar palsy (PBP)

Affects about a quarter of people diagnosed, and involves both the upper and lower motor neurones. Symptoms may include slurring of speech or difficulty swallowing.

3. Progressive muscular atrophy (PMA)

Affects only a small proportion of people, mainly causing damage to the lower motor neurones. Early symptoms may be noticed as weakness or clumsiness of the hand.

4. Primary lateral sclerosis (PLS)

A rare form of MND involving the upper motor neurones only, causing mainly weakness in the lower limbs, although some people may experience clumsiness in the hands or speech problems.

Here at the East Cliff Therapy Centre, treatment with our Neuro Physiotherapists is aimed at the relief of symptoms and management of posture, making your life as comfortable as possible. We aim to maintain your muscles’ ability to function, give you advice on pressure care, looking after your lungs and any aids and adaptions you may need.

For further advice or information please do not hesitate to contact us


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