What is Motor Neurone Disease (MND)?
Motor Neurone Disease (MND), sometimes known as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), is a progressive degenerative disease that affects the upper motor neurones (nerves in the brain and spinal cord) as well as the lower motor neurones (nerves that go from the spinal cord to the specific muscle that they control). As the nerves are damaged, the muscles that they control become weaker and stiffer. The rate of progression for MND varies greatly from one person to another. The causes of MND are not yet known, but it is thought to be a number of factors, both genetic and environmental.
Treatments for MND
There is no cure for MND at present however drug treatments, such as Riluzole are available. By working closely with other health care professionals, the clinicians at Hobbs can help to improve functional independence and ultimately quality of life.
Every individual with MND presents with different symptoms and needs throughout the progression of the disease. Each individual will be assessed by their therapist and have treatment tailored to their needs and goals. Some of the physiotherapy treatments we offer can help to:
- Increase muscle strength through strengthening and mobilisation exercises
- Improve postural alignment through mobilisation and strengthening
- Improve balance and mobility through assessment of different seating and mobility aids plus postural re-education
- Reduce muscle stiffness, spasms and pain through stretching programmes
- Reduce the risk of falls through balance work, gait re-education and training
- Increase independence and quality of life through management of positioning in bed and seating
Individuals with MND have different needs and goals depending on the progression of the disease, therefore our specialist OT’s aim to improve areas of personal care, work or leisure that are becoming difficult. This can be achieved through:
- Functional activities independently or in groups
- Assessing function in your own environment and establish any needs for equipment, adaptations, or further rehabilitation
- Hand therapy including splinting and exercise programmes
- Advice and management of pressure relief through bed positioning and seating adaptations
Individuals with MND can often experience difficulties with their speech and swallowing. Difficulties in written and non-verbal communication can also be experienced. Our specialist speech and language therapists can assist with:
- Training for family and carers on how to communicate with someone with dysphasia
- Treatment at the centre or in your own home
- Assistance with written communication including adaptive equipment
Useful Links & Research