What are the symptoms of MND?
Symptoms and the rate of progression of motor neurone disease (MND) vary significantly from person to person.
Early symptoms may be mild and include:
- Stumbling due to weakness of the leg muscles
- Difficulty holding objects caused by weakness of the hand muscles
- Slurring of speech or swallowing difficulties due to weakness of the tongue and throat muscles
- Cramps and muscle twitching
As the disease progresses symptoms may include:
- Breathing difficulties from decreased lung capacity caused by muscle weakness
- Fatigue caused by muscle exhaustion, decreased lung capacity, metabolic changes, weight loss and reduced food intake
- Insomnia caused by discomfort, pain from stiff joints and muscles, excessive saliva, dry mouth or breathing problems
- Mild changes in cognitive skills and processes and/or behavioural change
- Fronto-temporal cognitive changes (a type of dementia), which is prominent in 5-10% of MND cases
- Excessive laughing or crying due to damage to the upper motor neurones
- Some pain or discomfort