The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

What are the symptoms of MND?

Symptoms of MND vary from person to person and depend on the area of the body where the muscles are affected first. MND is a progressive condition and so, over time, symptoms are likely to spread and involve different parts of the body.

Weakness and wasting of muscles can occur in the arms or legs. Stiffness, cramps and rippling of the muscles can occur. These muscle twitches are known as fasciculations.

Changes in quality of voice, ability to speak and swallow, excessive salivation can occur due to wasting, weakness or stiffness of the tongue.

If the muscles that are involved in breathing (respiratory muscles) are affected one can experience early morning headaches, unrefreshing sleep and excessive daytime tiredness.

Some people can experience a change in thinking and judgment abilities and sometimes with a loss of social skills. Around 35% experience mild cognitive change, with specific deficits in executive functions, language and/or social cognition. Up to 15% develop frontotemporal dementia (FTD), either at the same time or after diagnosis of MND

Some people can also experience problems with controlling their emotions and have bouts of poorly controlled crying or laughter.