Nutrition and gastrostomy

Management of MND Enteral Feeding

This information is for health and social care professionals. You may also want to see our information for people living with or affected by MND on:


Motor neurone disease (MND) is a progressive and terminal disease that results in degeneration of the motor neurones, or nerves, in the brain and spinal cord.

Monitoring nutritional intake and weight is important. Unintentional weight loss and risk of malnutrition can result from:

Functional consequences of weight loss/malnutrition include:

  • increased muscle wasting due to muscle catabolism
  • increased respiratory muscle weakness
  • decreased physical strength and mobility
  • impaired immune function, which can increase susceptibility to opportunistic infections
  • decreased tissue viability
  • increased discomfort sitting or lying due to weight loss and loss of tissue ‘padding’ over bony protuberances
  • decreased morale and quality of life.

Involvement of a speech and language therapist and a dietitian is essential at an early stage to assess, monitor and review the individual’s nutritional intake and to provide practical oral and non-oral dietary advice to enable nutritional needs to be met.

Advice may include:

  • fortification to improve food quality
  • recipe ideas to increase variety
  • practical solutions to ease food preparation and physical eating and drinking difficulties (in association with an occupational therapist)
  • recommending prescribed nutritional supplements
  • discussing gastrostomy.

For further information and support contact our MND Connect helpline

mndconnect 0808 802 6262