Symptoms and Origin of MND

MND or motor neurone disease is no doubt a dangerous medical condition. There is no cure for it and so, health care then focuses on ways to just relieve the pain the patient experiences, whether physically or emotionally.

This state is when your motor senses fail to function. These actions are connected to the brain and if the neurone do not activate, muscles will gradually weaken and deteriorate. With this, folks with the MND will then start to have their daily lives affected and this is not just talking about a small scale difference. There will be a lot of challenges ahead for the individual and his or her family.

Now, just like any kind of sickness, there are symptoms that you can look out for to see and determine if you have the MND yourself. Those are the following:

Stumbling. It is normal that people fall, especially if there are objects on the way, but if it due to no reason other than weakening leg muscles, then that is quite a mild warning sign. Yes, this may still be mild but it can be a major heads up.

Holding things with difficulty. Of course, for everyday workings, folks get to take hold and grasp different things. The hands and arms are essential parts of the body as they are very much involved in whatever movement. When you get to the point where you can’t move them, then that is another sign of muscle deterioration.

Speaking indistinctly. Have you noticed you or someone you know who has been slurring in their speech? Mouth, tongue and throat muscles has also been affected already. This also arises the struggle that will come when eating, chewing and swallowing.

Constipation, though not directly a symptom, might happen because of the changes in regards to food and drink intake. Bladder control becomes an issue as well.

Apart from the senses involving moving and even breathing, other changes can occur. These are in the forms of behaviour and personality. It might then lead to frontotemporal dementia. This is actually one of the rarer kinds of dementia. Hence, it can really be seen that MND is one serious circumstance to be in.

Dementia of this type comes with grounds such as impaired language and grammar comprehension. A person will not be able to generate words normally anymore and they may even end up saying gibberish. Reading and writing will be activities that will be hard to do from now on. In essence, memory loss is on the way.

If it is asked if MND is one that emerges with relates to genetics, then an answer would be that there are two cases of origin. That would be:

Familial MND
This pertains to, yes, the disease being passed from one generation to another. Supposing two or more in the family have been affected and diagnosed, then there is a great chance that it is definitely in your genes. Such disorder is caused by gene mutations that have then been passed to the children and grandchildren.

Sporadic MND
On the other hand, this one refers to the unique context where you are the only one in your household or unit to have gotten the illness. Gene mutation still plays a part for this happening.

Though these aforementioned reasons can be determined, it is such a shame that cures and preventions are still not of existence. Once more, many health care teams and groups have put immense efforts in studying about how MND works and how it can be aided and healed.

The age for when a person can be impacted can vary. But it can onset as early as one’s 20s and as late as one’s 80s. That is why it is also of extreme importance that an individual gets to be diagnosed at a fitting stage, whatever the age.

For patients, they want to be able to know beforehand so that they can plan their lives accordingly. Aspects from family and work, among others, can no doubt be altered and such situations themselves can bring negativity and anxiety. Therefore, you are left with not only physical weakness but also emotional instability.

On top of that, when MND is detected, stricken folks can then be able to inform kin on their possibility of having the disease (considering this may be a familial type). The reality stands though that this is one you cannot control and manipulate. What is really left to do is just accept it with the help, support and love of people around you.

Achievement of Comfort: Focus of Care with MND

Tripping over footPerhaps the question that comes to mind about ALS Motor Neuron Disease is that: What is the best possible care that can be provided for someone with this condition? There is no cure, thus, it would be impossible for the individual to recover. Instead, you will see how the condition will progress to its severity and there is nothing that you can do about it.

The focus of care with MND is achievement of comfort. As the disease progresses, the individual will start to manifest severity of symptoms. The onset of MND is further classified according to parts of the body or system that is affected.

Limb Onset Type. Disease manifestations of this type involve weakened arms and legs. As such, personnel will observe the patient to have difficulty in gripping or holding objects. The individual may also experience frequent tripping up of foot as the ankle and hips start to manifest symptoms of weakening. Simple tasks of combing the hair or trying to tie own hair may become too difficult for the individual during this stage. Eating well as activities involving grooming will require assistance. Be ready to offer support as the individual may also express frustration in trying to accomplish these tasks.

Bulbar Onset Type. This is the most common type of MND, where slurred speech is the first symptom observed. As the disease progresses, swallowing will soon become a problem. As such, there may be a need for tube feeding, not just to sustain the individual’s nutritional requirement, but to prevent aspiration as well. Note that the intellectual capacity and memory of the individual is not affected, such that he or she can still converse by hand signal. It would help to have words or photos printed on paper ready to help him convey possible requests like turning on the TV, putting some music, changing clothes or opening the window for him.

Respiratory Onset Type. This is the rarest form of MND. Onset of symptom is difficulty or shortness of breath. However, this may start as difficulty in breathing when lying down which can later on progress to a more severe form. Some individuals may also experience fainting spells. This may be secondary to the oxygen not reaching the brain. As such, it is imperative that the individual has someone to care for him.

Regardless of the type of onset, individuals with MND will eventually progress to the end-stage symptoms which involves shortness or difficulty of breathing and paralysis of the whole body. During this stage, the individual will become drowsy and fall deeply asleep. Difficulty of breathing cannot be relieved by mechanical ventilation as the lungs cease to function. It is expected that families of individuals with this disease have already coordinated with the physician for plan of care during the first stages of illness. The level of care and intervention that is required during this stage will depend on the plan of care that the family and the patient agreed upon in the early stages of MND.

Everything you need to know about MND

The motor neurone disease or MND refers to a group of related neurological disorders that affect neurone or nerves. The affected neurones are located both in the hand in the spinal cord. Thus, it affects the cells that are in control of voluntary muscle activities such as speaking, walking, swallowing, and other movement of the body. It is also considered as a progressive disorder in nature. Its effects on the persons can be in a form of debilitating disability and even death. It attacks the upper and lower motor nerves.

It was first termed by Jean-Martin Charcot, a French neurologist, in 1874. The said disease comes in four primary types. These are the following types: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS, progressive bulbar palsy or PBP, progressive muscular atrophy or PMA and primary lateral sclerosis or PLS. Below is a list of the forms of the disease with the known symptoms and life expectancy for the diagnosed person.

The Effect on the Person

The common effect of the disease is the degeneration of the motor neurones. Once a motor nerve is not able to generate, it causes weakness and wasting in limbs, affecting the person’s mobility, speech and eating activity.

Given that the said disease comes in four types, the effect on the person is dependent on the type of disease. Thus, its effect varies from one person to another. The list below shows the four types of MND and how they affect the person.

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) – This is considered as the most common of the four types. It affects both the upper and lower motor nerve. This form is found out as factors in the weakness and wasting in the limbs. Other people experience mobility problems such as tripping when the person walks.
  • Progressive bulbar palsy (PBP) – This form of disease affects about a quarter of people who are diagnosed with the disease. It also affects both the upper and lower motor nerves. The known symptoms for this type are speech defects.
  • Progressive muscular atrophy (PMA) – This form of disease is known to only affecting a small proportion of people. The damage is mostly on the lower motor nerves. Weakness and clumsiness of the muscles found in the hand are some of its early symptoms.
  • Primary lateral sclerosis (PLS) – This is the form of the disease that is considered as rare. It affects only the upper motor nerves. It is a factor of the weakness in the lower limbs. Weakness of the muscle in the hands and some speech problems are the known symptoms of this form. Life span is known as essentially normal.

The Process of Diagnosis

The process of diagnosis for MDN is very difficult. The disease is considered as one of the world’s ‘rare’ diseases. Most of the early symptoms are very light that they are barely get noticed and sometimes considered as normal. Some of the early symptoms are clumsiness, weakness or little speech difficulty, of course, which are mostly attributed to other disorders.

Who are the People at Risk?

For the past few years, the case or the number of the people diagnosed with the disease is found to be increase. This is because of diagnostic testing brought by modern technology. Furthermore, the disease is mostly found common in older people.

An adult at any age can be affected of the disease. Most people who are diagnosed with the disease are known to be between the age of 40 and 70. Men are likely to suffer from the said disease more than women. Statistic shows that men are affected twice as often as women. The rate of people who will be diagnosed with MND each year is about two people in every 100,000. There are about two people in every 100,000 that will develop the said disease and out of these 100,000 there are seven people who are already living with the disease.

The Different Forms of Motor Neurone Disease or MND

There are four primary known forms of Motor Neurone Disease or MND. Each form of disease affects a person in different or various ways. There is also a possibility that the different types can overlap between each other. There is a use in pointing out the distinctiveness of each type however it is not always possible to be exact or specific.

The four types of the said disease are amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS, progressive bulbar palsy or PBP, progressive muscular atrophy or PMA and primary lateral sclerosis or PLS. Below is a list of the forms of the disease with the known symptoms and life expectancy for the diagnosed person.

  1. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) – This is considered as the most common of the four types. It affects both the upper and lower motor nerve. This form is found out as factors in the weakness and wasting in the limbs. Other people experience mobility problems such as tripping when the person walks. The average life expectancy for a person suffering from this form is from two to five years from the time the symptoms started.
  2. Progressive bulbar palsy (PBP) – This form of disease affects about a quarter of people who are diagnosed with the disease. It also affects both the upper and lower motor nerves. The known symptoms for this type are speech defects. The average life expectancy for the diagnosed person is between six months and three years from the time that symptoms started.
  3. Progressive muscular atrophy (PMA) – This form of disease is known to only affecting a small proportion of people. The damage is mostly on the lower motor nerves. Weakness and clumsiness of the muscles found in the hand are some of its early symptoms. Most diagnosed people live for more than five years. 
  4. Primary lateral sclerosis (PLS) – This is the form of the disease that is considered as rare. It affects only the upper motor nerves. It is a factor of the weakness in the lower limbs. Weakness of the muscle in the hands and some speech problems are the known symptoms of this form. Life span is known as essentially normal. However, the average life expectancy of the person depends on the form of the disease, whether it remains as PLS or develops into other forms.

Kennedy’s Disease

The Kennedy’s Disease and MND are found out to share similar traits or characteristics. This is can be a factor in the confusion on the diagnosis phase. The Kennedy’s Disease is also another progressive disorder of the motor nerves that is triggered because of genetic mutation. This kind of disease rarely affects the muscle. This is not considered as a form of the latter disease. However, Kennedy’s disease is included as one of the medical conditions supported by the Association of MND. Only the men are affected by this disease however it is possible that women carry the said mutation that triggers the disease. The accurate diagnosis for Kennedy’s Disease is made possible through gene testing. Unlike to MND, Kennedy’s disease is not known to be threatening to the person’s average life expectancy.