Motor Neurone Disease

What is Motor Neurone Disease?

Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is a rare but fatal neurological disease. It progressively attacks the motor neurones (nerves) in the brain and spinal cord.

Motor neurones control important muscle activity such as gripping, walking, speaking, swallowing and breathing. As they are attacked messages gradually stop reaching muscles. This initially leads to weakness and wasting and then, eventually, severe paralysis and breathing difficulties.

Mental abilities and senses are not usually affected and therefore patients generally remain aware of their deteriorating physical condition.

There is no cure. The average survival of someone diagnosed with MND is three to five years. Death is usually the result of breathing difficulties.

Who is affected?

MND can affect any adult at any age. Most people are diagnosed over the age of 40, with the majority occurring between the ages of 50 and 70. Men are approximately twice as likely to be affected as women.

Ten per cent of sufferers have a family history of the condition.

There are 5,000 people at any one time in the UK with MND and nearly 2,200 people die from the disease each year.

How we help

Motor Neurone Disease is a devastating condition. Progress has been made through research but much more needs to be done. 

We have funded the following research:

  • Investigation into different genes involved in MND. Led by Professor Linda Greensmith, Graham Watts Laboratories. Read More.