Symptoms of motor neuron disease develop slowly and can be confused and some other unrelated neurological conditions begin in many stages
Motor neurons send signals from the brain to the muscles and bones, and this makes the muscles move. They are involved in both conscious movements and automatic movements.
Some MNDs are inherited while others happen randomly.
The exact causes are unclear, but the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke (NINDS) notes that genetic, toxic, viral, and other environmental factors likely play a role.
MND can be divided into three stages, early, middle, and advanced.
Early-stage signs and Symptoms of motor neuron disease
Symptoms develop slowly and can be confused with symptoms of some other unrelated neurological conditions.
Typical symptoms begin in one of three areas: the arms and legs, the mouth (bulbar),or the respiratory system.
- a weakening grip, making it hard to pick up and hold things
- muscle pains, cramps, and twitches
- slurred and sometimes garbled speech
- weakness in the arms and legs
- increased clumsiness and stumbling
- difficulty swallowing
- trouble breathing or shortness of breath
Middle stage signs and symptoms of motor neuron disease:
- Muscle pain and weakness increase, and spasms and twinges worsen.
- Limbs become progressively weaker.
- Limb muscles start to shrink.
- Movement in affected limbs becomes more difficult.
- Limb muscles may become abnormally stiff.
- Joint pain grows.
- Eating, drinking, and swallowing become harder.
- Drooling occurs, due to problems controlling saliva.
- Yawning occurs, sometimes in uncontrollable bouts.
- Jaw pain may result from excessive yawning.
- Speech problems worsen, as muscles in the throat and mouth become weaker.
The person may show changes in personality and emotional state, with bouts of uncontrollable crying or laughing.
This includes difficulties with memory, planning, language, behaviour, and spatial relationships.
Advanced stage signs and symptoms
- The patient will be unable to move, eat, or breathe without assistance.
- Without supportive care, an individual will pass away.
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