“As these nerves are attacked, messages gradually stop reaching muscles. This initially leads to weakness and wasting and then, eventually, severe paralysis and breathing difficulties.”
A person’s mental capabilities aren’t usually affected, therefore a person is aware of their deteriorating condition.
One of the most famous cases of motor neurone disease is that of Professor Stephen Hawking.
Am I at risk of motor neurone disease?
Most people diagnosed with the condition are over the age of 50, although Professor Hawking received a diagnosis at 21 years old.
Data suggests that men are more at risk of developing the disease than women.
A small number of sufferers, up to 10 percent, have a family history of motor neurone disease.
However, this statistic also highlights that most cases of motor neurone disease aren’t thought to be linked to genetic susceptibility.
Brain Research said: “There is no cure, and no effective treatment.”
This is why QMUL researchers hope to evaluate “the use of cholesterol-modifying drugs in people at risk of motor neurone disease”.
The body of work is published in journal Annals of Neurology.