Motor neuron diseases are a group of conditions that cause the nerves in the spine and brain to progressively lose function. They are a rare but serious and incurable form of progressive neurodegeneration.
Motor neurons are nerve cells that send electrical output signals to the muscles, affecting the muscles’ ability to function.
Motor neuron disease (MND) can appear at any age, but most patients are over 40 years old at diagnosis. It affects men more than women.
The most common type, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), probably affects around 30,000Americans at any given time, with over 5,000 diagnoses each year.
Fast facts on Motor Neuron Diseases
Here are some key points about motor neuron diseases. More detail is in the main article.
• Motor neuron diseases (MND) are a group of conditions that affect the nerve cells that send messages to the brain.
• There is a progressive weakening of all the muscles in the body, which eventually affects ability to breathe.
• Genetic, viral, and environmental issues may play a role in causing MND.
• There is no cure, but supportive treatment can improve the quality of life.
• Life expectancy after diagnosis ranges from 3 years to longer than 10 years.