MOTOR NEURONE DISEASES

DOC I HAVE A MOTOR NEURONE DISEASE

What are Motor Neurone Diseases?

Motor Neurone Diseases is a group of progressive degenerative diseases affecting motor neurones with varying corticospinal involvement.

The diseases destroy cells that control important muscle activity such as speaking, walking, breathing, and swallowing. The damaged nerve cells are unable to send signals to the muscles to do their activity resulting in weakness, wasting and tremors of the muscles.

The Motor Neurone Diseases includes conditions such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), progressive bulbar palsy, primary lateral sclerosis, and progressive muscular atrophy.

What causes Motor Neurone Diseases?

The cause is unknown but environmental, toxic, viral, or genetic factors have found to play a part in its formation.

1.In all Motor Neurone Diseases, there is loss of nerve cells in the anterior horn of spinal cord and motor nuclei of brain stem.

2.In Primary Lateral Sclerosis there is corticospinal tract degeneration most evident in the lower spinal cord but traceable to internal capsule and corona radiata.

Who is at risk of Motor Neurone Diseases?

Motor Neurone Diseases occurs in middle age 40-60 years old and are more common in males.

It occurs as endemic in Guam where there is high familial incidence in association with Parkinson dementia complex.

What are the symptoms of Motor Neurone Disease?

The typical course of Motor Neurone Diseases except for primary lateral sclerosis is 2 to 6 years resulting in death.

1.acute onset of asymmetrical muscle tremors, weakness and wasting in both lower limbs with ascending progression of the weakness upwards to the arms and face .

2.the lower cranial nerves can also be affected leading to bulbar weakness, (dysphagia or difficulty with swallowing), facial weakness and respiratory difficulties. If this happens , hospitalization is a must.

3.spasticity of the muscles

4.hyperreflexia

5.mental function is usually not affected

How is the diagnosis of Motor Neurone Disease made?

The diagnosis of  Motor Neurone Disease involve
1.History of a rapid onset and progression of motor weakness, wasting, tremors, hyperreflexia and the absence of fever.

2.physical and neurological examinations for peripheral neurological deficit.

What are the complications for Motor Neurone Disease ?

1.Progression of nerve involvement to whole body

2.Paralysis of respiratory muscles and swallowing can be life threatening

What is the treatment for Motor Neurone Disease?

Treatment for Motor Neurone Disease may be urgent especially in cases of respiratory distress:

1.Hospitalization and early intubation with a respirator on standby in case of difficulty in respiration

2.treatment of the condition is supportive only as there is no cure for the disease

a.physiotherapy to strengthen muscles

b.Speech therapy for speech and swallowing

3.The drug riluzole approved to treat ALS, prolongs life by 2-3 months but does not relieve symptoms. 

4.Symptoms such as spasticity  can be treated with muscle relaxants.

Anticonvulsants and pain killers can help to relieve pain.

5.A healthy and balanced diet is necessary to maintain strength in the muscles and mind

What is the prognosis of Motor Neurone Disease?

Most Motor Neurone Diseases except for primary lateral sclerosis (which is usually not fatal) are relentless diseases with  progression to death.

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About kenkee481

Dr Kenneth Kee is still working as a family doctor at the age of 67. However he has reduced his consultation hours to 3 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon. He first started writing free blogs on medical conditions seen in the clinic in 2007 on http://kennethkee.blogspot.com. His purpose in writing these simple guides was for the health education of his patients which is also his dissertation for his Ph.D (Healthcare Administration). He then wrote an autobiolographical account of his journey as a medical student to family doctor on his other blog http://afamilydoctorstale.blogspot.com This autobiolographical account “A Family Doctor’s Tale” was combined with his early “A Simple Guide to Medical Conditions” into a new Wordpress Blog “A Family Doctor’s Tale” on http://ken-med.com. From which many free articles from the blog was taken and put together into 700 amazon kindle books and some into Smashwords.com eBooks. He apologized for typos and spelling mistakes in his earlier books. He will endeavor to improve the writing in futures. Some people have complained that the simple guides are too simple. For their information they are made simple in order to educate the patients. The later books go into more details of medical conditions. He has published 700 kindle Books on various subjects on health, 1 autobiography of his medical journey, another on the autobiography of a Cancer survivor, 2 children stories and one how to study for his nephew and grand-daughter. The purpose of these simple guides is to educate patient on health conditions and not meant as textbooks. He does not do any night duty since 2000 ever since Dr Tan had his second stroke. His clinic is now relocated to the Buona Vista Community Centre. The 2 units of his original clinic are being demolished to make way for a new Shopping Mall. He is now doing some blogging and internet surfing (bulletin boards since the 1980's) starting with the Apple computer and going to PC. The entire PC is upgraded by himself from XT to the present Pentium duo core. The present Intel i7 CPU is out of reach at the moment because the CPU is still expensive. He is also into DIY changing his own toilet cistern and other electric appliance. His hunger for knowledge has not abated and he is a lifelong learner. The children have all grown up and there are 2 grandchildren who are even more technically advanced than the grandfather where mobile phones are concerned. This book is taken from some of the many articles in his blog (now with 740 posts) A Family Doctor’s Tale. Dr Kee is the author of: "A Family Doctor's Tale" "Life Lessons Learned From The Study And Practice Of Medicine" "Case Notes From A Family Doctor" “The Amazing Story of the Cold Sore Virus” “Of Bed Bugs, Lice And Scabies! 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This entry was posted in amylotrophic lateral sclerosis, Medical case Studies, motor neurone disease. Bookmark the permalink.

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