Practitioner 2011; 255 (1743):19-22

GPs have key role in managing motor neurone disease

21 Sep 2011Pais-up subscribers

Motor neurone disease (MND) is a rapidly progressive neurodegenerative condition. It affects people of all ages, but is more common with increasing age (especially over 50 years) and men are affected twice as often as women. The prevalence is relatively low, as individuals usually live for only a few years with MND. There are around 1,200 new diagnoses a year, and 4,000 people affected at any one time in the UK. It will probably become more frequent with an ageing population, and the prevention of death from vascular and other causes. The Motor Neurone Disease Association has a network of regional care advisers, and visitors, and can provide support and information for the GP. MND is a devastating physical condition, and can have equally devastating effects on emotions, also affecting family, friends, and members of the multidisciplinary team. Some patients experience difficulties accessing resources, which the GP may help in mobilising. There may also be problems in understanding and communication, where the GP may play a key role.

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