Motor Neurone Disease
Motor Neurone Disease

Motor Neurone Disease: 5 Types, Symptoms, and Causes

Motor neurone disease is a condition in which the motor nerve is damaged. The condition of damaged motor nerves can cause the sufferer difficulty walking, talking, even breathing.

The motor nervous system is divided into two parts, the upper motor nervous system located in the brain and the lower motor nervous system located in the spinal cord.

The upper motor nerve serves to send signals from the brain to the spinal cord, while the lower motor nerve resumes signals sent from the brain to all the nerves in the muscles.

The signal sent to earlier serve to regulate muscle movement, ranging from walking, talking, grasping, swallowing to breathing. If the function of the motor nerve is impaired, then the sufferer will have difficulty in performing the activity.

Motor Neurone Disease Types

Amyotrphic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

ALS is the most common type of MND disease. ALS attacks the muscles of the hands, feet, mouth and respiratory system. Life expectancy is usually 3 to 5 years. Some sufferers can reach up to 10 years or more with supportive treatment.

Progressive bulbar palsy (PBP)

PBP involves a brain stem that has the function of supporting basic functions such as breathing, swallowing, heart rate, blood pressure, and consciousness. Usually ALS sufferers also have PBP.

Progressive muscular atrophy (PMA)

PMA causes the sufferer’s muscles to shrink. Shrinkage occurs slowly but progressively. The muscles that are usually affected are the hands, feet, and mouth.

Primary lateral sclerosis (PLS)

PLS is one of the rare MND types. PLS is more dangerous and runs slowly compared to ALS. The disease is not fatal, but can affect quality of life.

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA)

Spinal Muscular atrophy (SMA) is an inherited MND disease and usually affects children. There are three types and all of them are caused by a gene disorder called SMA1. The disease attacks the torso, legs and arms.

Motor Neurone Disease Symptoms

The following are common signs and symptoms of motor neurone disease:

Signs and symptoms of early stage motor neurone disease

In the early stages, symptoms develop slowly and can resemble other conditions. The symptoms will depend on the type of neurological disease you have and which parts of the body are affected.

  • The grip is weakened, which makes it difficult to pick up and hold the goods.
  • Body fatigue.
  • Muscle pain (myalgia), cramping, and twitching.
  • Slurred speech or unclear.
  • Arms and limbs become weak.
  • It’s hard to maintain balance and fall down frequent.
  • Difficulty swallowing.
  • Difficulty breathing normally or shortness of breath.
  • Weight loss due to muscle loss in mass.

Signs and symptoms of intermediate stage motor neurone disease

This is the development of early symptoms that become more severe, including:

  • Muscle shrinkage.
  • Difficulty moving.
  • Joint pain.
  • Difficulty swallowing causes saliva to continue to drip.
  • Pain in the jaw and sometimes causes the mouth to often gape without a clear cause.
  • Personality and emotional state change easily, for example, depression and excessive anxiety.
  • Memory and language skills are problematic or decreased.

Signs and symptoms of advanced motor neurone disease

People with this neurological disease desperately need tools to move, eat, and breathe. Otherwise, the condition can be life-threatening due to difficulty breathing and lack of adequate nutrient intake.

Motor Neurone Disease Causes

The cause of most motor neurone diseases is still unknown. Motor neurone disease can occur due to heredity or due to environmental factors (toxic or viral). According to some research motor neurone disease can occur due to:

  • Gene mutations, various genetic mutations can cause ALS.
  • In chemical imbalances, people with ALS generally have higher than normal glutamate levels. Too much glutamate is known to be toxic to some nerve cells.
  • Immune response errors, occur when a person’s immune system attacks the normal cells of his own body, which can lead to the death of nerve cells.
  • Protein mishandling, mishandling of proteins inside nerve cells can lead to abnormal protein accumulation that can destroy nerve cells.

Last Updated on February 23, 2022 Reviewed by Market Health Beauty Team