Motor Neuron Disease

Overview

Motor neuron disease (MND) is a serious form of progressive neurodegeneration – over time the nerves in the spine and brain progressively lose function. In the case of motor neuron disease, motor neurons – types of nerve cells – are affected. The renowned English physicist, Stephen Hawking, and guitar virtuoso Jason Becker are living with motor neuron disease. There are different forms of motor neuron diseaseALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) is the most common form and accounts for approximately 60% to 70% of all cases.PBP (progressive bulbar palsy) accounts for about 20% of all cases.PMA (progressive muscular atrophy) accounts for the remaining 10% of cases. In all three MND forms symptoms are very similar. However, they progress at different speeds.

PLS (primary lateral sclerosis) is a very rare form of MND. PLS, unlike the other forms, is not fatal. In some very rare cases, patients with PLS eventually have ALS. MND is a very rare condition that affects the nervous system (neurological condition). In India approximately 1 person in every 50,000 is diagnosed with MND each year—this statistic is more or less the same across geographies.

MND can affect patients of any age, but most of them develop the disease and are affected by it after the age of 40 (specifically between the ages of 50 and 70 years). Out of every 10 people with AMD 6 are men and 4 are women. What are the risk factors for motor neuron disease? A risk factor is something that increases a person’s chances of developing a disease. For example, smoking increases the risk of developing some types of cancer; therefore, smoking is a risk factor for cancer.

Risk factors

Heredity – approximately 1 in every 10 people with ALS are known to have inherited it from their parents. A child who has a parent with MND has a 50% chance of developing the disease.

Age – after the age of 40 the risk of developing MND rises significantly (but is still very small).

Sex – men are much more likely to develop the disease before the age of 65 than women. After 70 years of age the risk is the same for both sexes.

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