Motor neuron diseases are a group of neurological disorders that occur when specialist nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord called motor neurons stop working properly. People with motor neuron disease may have difficult in gripping walking speaking swallowing breathing as the disease progresses.
The cause that leads to the dysfunction of motor neurons is still unclear and there’s currently no cure for motor neuron disease. Treatment for the disease aims to make the affected person feel comfortable and have the best quality of life possible.
In general, most people develop motor neuron disease in their early 60s, but people as young as 18 and as old as their 90s can also develop the disease. And men are at a slightly bigger chance of developing motor neuron disease than women.
Motor neuron disease is a severely life-shortening condition for most people. Life expectancy for about half of those with the condition is three to four years from the start of symptoms without proper treatments. However, some people may live for up to 10 years, and others even longer if proper treatments are received.
It is frustrating and challenging to living with motor neuron disease, and sometimes it can be terrifying. However, it’s not necessarily as bleak as many people imagine.
With proper treatment and specialist support, many people with motor neuron disease can lead a relatively independent lifestyle. And it is also possible for them to enjoy a quality of life they may not have imagined was possible at the time of their diagnosis.
In most cases, motor neuron disease is fatal because of the eventual involvement of the breathing muscles, which typically makes someone with the condition gradually drowsier and more susceptible to chest infections.
Motor neuron disease is a treatable disease. Therefore, people with motor neuron disease should receive proper and timely treatment as early as possible.