Motor neurone disease is a well-known but uncommon condition that affects the brain and nerves.

A number of famous people have been diagnosed with this such as the late Rugby League legend Rob Burrow and Scottish Rugby Union player Doddie Weir.

If you're interested in learning more about motor neurone disease (MND), here is everything you need to know.

What is motor neurone disease?

Motor neurone disease is a condition that affects the brain and nerves, according to the NHS website.

MND involves issues with cells called motor neurones which gradually stop working over time. It is not known why this happens.

It generally affects people in their 60s and 70s but adults of all ages can be diagnosed.

The disease significantly lowers life expectancy and eventually leads to death.

What are the symptoms of motor neurone disease?

These are the symptoms of motor neurone disease, according to the National Health Service.

Many of these symptoms can start gradually and may not be obvious at first.

  • Weakness in your ankle or leg – you might trip, or find it harder to climb stairs
  • Slurred speech, which may develop into difficulty swallowing some foods
  • A weak grip – you might drop things, or find it hard to open jars or do up buttons
  • Muscle cramps and twitches
  • Weight loss – your arms or leg muscles may have become thinner over time
  • Difficulty stopping yourself from crying or laughing in inappropriate situations

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How is motor neurone disease treated?

While no cure exists for MND, there are a number of treatments available to help those with it.

These include occupational therapy to make everyday tasks easier, physiotherapy and exercises, advice from a speech therapist and dietitian, a medicine called riluzole that can slightly slow down the progression of the condition and medicines to relieve muscle and saliva issues.