Motor Neuron Diseases


What is motor neuron disease?

Motor Neuron Diseases or MND"S are diseases that destroy neurons. They are often called Motor Neurone Diseases.

They are neurological diseases. They include the well known Als, also called Lou Gehrig's disease.

They are progressive diseases that occur in adults and in children.

They can be both inherited and non inherited.

The motor neuron diseases (MNDs) are a group of progressive neurological disorders that destroy motor neurons, the cells that control essential voluntary muscle activity such as speaking, walking, breathing, and swallowing. 

Normally, messages from nerve cells in the brain (called upper motor neurons) are transmitted to nerve cells in the brainstem and spinal cord (called lower motor neurons ) and from them to particular muscles. 

Upper motor neurons direct the lower motor neurons to produce movements such as walking or chewing. 

Lower motor neurons control movement in the arms, legs, chest, face, throat, and tongue.

When there are disruptions in these signals, the muscles do not work properly; the result can be gradual weakening, wasting away, and uncontrollable twitching (called fasciculations). 

When upper motor neurons are affected, the manifestations include spasticity or stiffness of limb muscles and overactivity of tendon reflexes such as knee and ankle jerks. 

Eventually, the ability to control voluntary movement can be lost. 

MNDs may be inherited or acquired.

Who is at risk for Motor Neuron Disease?

 

 

neuromuscular.wustl.edu  upper motor neuron

 

neuromuscular.wustl.edu lower motor neuron

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