Motor neurone disease – breakdown of nerve cells that control actions
Motor neurone disease affects the neurones that send messages to muscles. The motor neurones break down and can no longer carry impulses.
When the motor neurones cease to function properly, muscles that can no longer be activated weaken, often with visible wasting.
The causes of motor neurone disease are not clear, but research shows that genetics – what you inherit from your parents – plays a part; and environmental factors such as exposure to mechanical and/or electrical trauma, high levels of exercise, agricultural chemicals and a variety of heavy metals may increase the risk.