Motor neurone disease (MND) affects the nerves – called motor neurones – in the brain and spinal cord. MND is a life-shortening disease with no cure. Although the disease will progress, symptoms can be managed to help achieve the best possible quality of life.

With MND, messages from the motor neurones gradually stop reaching the muscles. This leads the muscles to weaken, stiffen and waste. MND can affect how you walk, talk, eat, drink and breathe. Some people also experience changes to their thinking and behaviour. However, MND affects everyone differently. Not all symptoms will affect everyone, or in the same order. Symptoms also progress at varying speeds, which makes the course of the disease difficult to predict.

MND can affect adults of any age but is more likely to affect people over 50. There is a 1 in 300 risk of being diagnosed with MND. However, the prevalence of a disease is the number of people currently living with that condition. As the progression of MND can be rapid, fewer people are living with this disease than might be expected with a 1 in 300 risk. This means the prevalence is low, with up to 5,000 people living with MND in the UK at any one time. This is why MND is not seen as a common disease.*

*source: MND Association