Symptoms

Symptoms and the rate of progression of motor neurone disease (MND) vary significantly from person-to-person.
Diagram of spinal cord and nerves. istockphotoEarly symptoms may be mild and may include:
  • Stumbling due to weakness of the leg muscles
  • Difficulty holding objects caused by weakness of the hand muscles
  • Slurring of speech or swallowing difficulties due to weakness of the tongue and throat muscles
  • Cramps and muscle twitching.

As the disease progresses symptoms may include: 
  • Breathing difficulties from decreased lung capacity caused by muscle weakness
  • Fatigue caused by muscle exhaustion, metabolic changes, weight loss and reduced food intake, decreased lung capacity
  • Insomnia caused by discomfort, pain from stiff joints and muscles, excessive saliva, dry mouth or breathing problems
  • Mild changes in cognitive skills and processes and/or behavioural change
  • Fronto-temporal cognitive changes (a type of dementia), which is prominent in 5-10% of MND cases
  • Excessive laughing or crying due to damage to the upper motor neurones
  • Some pain or discomfort.

This information can be downloaded: Facts about MND 
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More about pain and discomfort

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