Progression of MND
Most people measure the progression of the disease in terms of the difficulties they may encounter while going about their everyday life.
Some of the difficulties you may experience include:
- The legs – walking may become more difficult as the legs become weaker, you may experience foot drop.
- The arms and hands – everyday tasks such as turning taps, brushing hair, dressing, doing up buttons, may become more difficult as the arms and hands begin to weaken.
- The neck and shoulders – it may become difficult to keep your head upright as the muscles weaken.
- Emotions – emotional responses may be affected, leading to laughing or crying involuntarily. A physical response and not a mental one may be the cause of this.
- Speech and swallowing – difficulties may be experienced when eating, drinking and speaking.
- Breathing – if the respiratory muscles become affected, there may be difficulties with breathing.
- Changes in thinking – some people living with MND will experience difficulties with memory, learning, language and poor concentration. This is commonly known as cognitive change. Some of these difficulties may be quite subtle, while for others the changes can be more pronounced and noticeable.
There is help available with all of the above symptoms; this can be in the form of medication, equipment aids and personal care. Please refer to Community Care Services for more information about who can help.
What is not affected.
- Touch, taste, sight, smell and hearing are not affected for the vast majority of people diagnosed with MND
- Bowel and bladder functions are not directly affected, although immobility can make it difficult to get to the toilet and changes to diet in later stages may lead to changes in bowel movement
- Sexual function will not be affected in most cases, but sexual expression may need to adapt due to immobility
- Eye muscles are generally not affected
- Heart muscle is not affected.
Information for download
You may find the following publications useful:
- »Living with motor neurone disease (1188kb)
Our main guide for people with MND, providing an overview of the disease and how to manage its impact. This can be downloaded or ordered as a printed pack with additional items from our helpline, MND Connect. The guide has been developed to help people with MND achieve the best possible quality of life from diagnosis onwards. It includes top tips, directions to further information and details about accessing support services. (Code: LW002)