Motor Neurone Disease kills five people every day in the UK
MND is the name given to a group of related diseases affecting the motor neurones (nerve cells) in the brain and spinal cord. As the motor neurones gradually die, the muscles stop working.
MND should not be described as a ‘muscle-wasting disease’ as muscle weakness is only one of many ways that MND can affect people.
MND is a rapidly progressive, fatal disease that can affect any adult at any time. The cause of MND is unknown and there is no known cure.
MND affects around 5,000 people in this country alone at any one time. In the UK at least five people a day die from MND. Life expectancy for most people with MND is just two to five years, and around half will die within 14 months of diagnosis.
The incidence of MND (the number of people who will develop MND in any one year) is approximately two per 100,000.
The prevalence of MND (the number of people who actually have MND at any one time) is approximately seven per 100,000.
MND leaves people unable to walk, talk or feed themselves, but the intellect and the senses usually remain unaffected. People with MND can still think and feel, but their muscles refuse to work.
MND was first described in 1869 by French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot. In the USA and other countries it is known as ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis).
Famous people who have died of MND include actor David Niven, footballers Jimmy Johnstone, Don Revie and Willie Maddren, Leonard Cheshire – founder of the Cheshire Homes for disabled people - and journalist Jill Tweedie.
Professor Stephen Hawking, author of A Brief History of Time is an exceptional case. He has survived with MND for more than 40 years.
Find out more about the MND Association
For further information contact:
Helen Franzen Communications Officer
Telephone: 07760 765142