Motor neuron diseases occur when motor neurons, cells that control voluntary movement, are destroyed. Motor neuron disease can affect different people in different ways. Symptoms of the disease vary from person to person. There are also different types of motor neuron disease. Here are some types and symptoms of the disease.
Types of motor neuron diseases
In general, there are three main types of motor neuron diseases, which affect different groups of nerves. They are as follows:
• Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
It is the most common type of motor neuron diseases. It mainly causes muscle cramps, weakness, wasting of muscles and stiffness in the legs.
• Progressive bulbar palsy
It affects about one in four people with motor neuron disease. It mainly affects speech and swallowing.
• Progressive muscular atrophy
It is a less common type of motor neuron diseases. It causes muscle weakness, particularly in the hands, before it spreads to the rest of the body. It also causes muscle wasting and twitching.
Symptoms of motor neuron diseases
Motor neuron diseases affect different people in different ways. People with motor neuron diseases may experience different symptoms according to their own disease condition.
The first symptoms of motor neuron diseases may include:
• Wasting of muscles
• Clumsy fingers
• Muscle cramps, spasms or twitching
• Difficulty swallowing
• Weak grip
• Slurred speech
• Difficulty swallowing saliva
• Coughing after swallowing or a feeling of choking
As motor neuron diseases progresses, you may have the following symptoms:
• Intellectual difficulty
• Changes in personality
• Increasing muscle weakness in your arms, hands and legs
• Laughing or crying more easily
• Breathing difficulties
People with motor neuron diseases may find it more and more difficult to perform simple daily activities as their disease progresses. It is very necessary to receive proper treatments before symptoms getting worse.