Motor neuron disease (MND) is the name given to a group of diseases in which the nerve cells (neurones) controlling the muscles that enable us to move, speak, breathe and swallow undergo degeneration and die.
Motor function is controlled by the upper motor neurones in the brain that descend to the spinal cord; these neurones activate lower motor neurones. The lower motor neurones exit the spinal cord and directly activate muscles. With no nerves to activate them, muscles gradually weaken and waste. MND can affect a person’s ability to walk, speak, swallow and breathe. MND is known as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in many parts of the world, and as Lou Gehrig’s disease in the USA.
Facts about Motor Neuron Disease
- It affects about 2 out of every 100 000 people worldwide.
- It is very rare in teenagers.
- It is more prominent in men than in women.
- Once contracted, the person’s life span is approximately between 2 – 10 years.
- The causes are not yet known.
- There is currently no cure for motor neuron disease. Research is being conducted worldwide to find a cure.
- However, the patients who are currently suffering with this disease can and must be treated.
- Treatment can ensure that the sufferer is made to feel as comfortable as possible and to lead the best quality of life as is possible.
- Treatment can compensate for the progressive loss of functions we take for granted, such as mobility, communication, swallowing and breathing.
How YOU Can Help …
For each GetAhead product purchased, we’ll donate R75 to the the J9 Foundation to help fund treatment and research into Motor Neuron Disease.