Motor neuron disease is a rare condition that progressively damages parts of the nervous system. This leads to muscle weakness, often with visible wasting.It is also called ALS(Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)
ALS is inherited in 5 to 10 percent of cases. Sometimes there is no known cause, other cases appear to occur randomly.
Possible causes of ALS includes:
- Gene mutation. Various genetic mutations can lead to inherited ALS, which appears nearly identical to the noninherited form.
- Chemical imbalance. People with ALS generally have higher than normal levels of glutamate, a chemical messenger in the brain, around the nerve cells in their spinal fluid. Too much glutamate is known to be toxic to some nerve cells.
- Disorganized immune response. Sometimes a person’s immune system begins attacking some of his or her body’s own normal cells, which may lead to the death of nerve cells.
Early signs and symptoms of ALS include:
- Difficulty walking, tripping or difficulty doing your normal daily activities
- Weakness in your leg, feet or ankles
- Hand weakness or clumsiness
- Slurring of speech or trouble swallowing
- Muscle cramps and twitching in your arms, shoulders and tongue
- Difficulty holding your head up or keeping a good posture
In our center we have seen a client with MND whose major features include bilateral wasting of shoulder girdle muscles, deltoid, arm flexors and extensors, severe weakness of left hand compared to right hand. His lower limb power is good, able to do all individual joint movements but with some balance issues. He has a history of diabetes and bilateral TKR. Presently since few days we are emphasizing on slowing the progression of disease by addressing pain, improving joint mobility, strengthening weakened muscles, breathing exercises and low impact exercises to maintain cardiovascular endurance. Patient is responding well and fatigue levels decreased. Proper home advice helping him to be independent with very minimal support from caregivers.