Motor Neurone Disease

Motor Neurone Disease (MND) or otherwise known as Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), is a specific disorder that involves the death of neurons which control motor function – the disease does not disrupt the sensory function of the central nervous system. This degenerative disease can progress at a highly variable rate, with the muscular and respiratory systems often displaying different speeds of progression.

Physiotherapy does not have a rehabilitation role for individuals with ALS, as strengthening is not possible, and the rate of deterioration is accelerated by exercise.  This is because every discharge of neural action by the motor neuron further deteriorates its function – a result of protein accumulation within the cell which ultimately blocks signal conduction. 

Specifically however, Neurophysiotherapists can set goals and promote benefits for individuals with ALS by delaying loss of strength, maintaining endurance, limiting pain, preventing complications, and promoting functional independence.  This is achieved by limiting secondary stiffness and optimising core stability/balance so that the body is operating as efficiently as possible.

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