Today in the UK, six people will hear the devastating news that they have motor neurone disease (MND). In that instant, their world – and the world of their loved ones – is shattered.
Motor neurone disease (MND) is a fatal, rapidly progressing neurological condition affecting up to 5,000 adults in the UK at any one time. The disease causes messages from nerves (motor neurones) in the brain and spinal cord that control movement to gradually stop reaching the muscles, leading them to weaken, stiffen and waste.
The result is that people become locked in a failing body, unable to move, talk and eventually breathe. Some may experience changes in thinking and behaviour, with a proportion experiencing a rare form of dementia. MND does not usually affect senses such as sight, sound and feeling.
MND kills a third of people within a year and more than half within two years of diagnosis. It affects all communities, with a person’s lifetime risk of developing MND around 1 in 300.
There is currently no effective treatment or cure.