Motor neurone disease

November 12, 2012

Motor neurone disease

Motor neurone disease causes the gradual loss of muscle use, which can have a great affect on many aspects of life. It causes an emotional impact and leads the patient requiring a lot of personal assistance.


Motor neurone disease can cause a number of different emotional reactions. Some patients develop anxiety and depression, which can be made worse when feelings are kept in. Discussing concerns, emotions and feeling with family and friends can help with this, as can joining a support group.


The direct sexual functioning is not affected by motor neurone disease; the loss of muscle use will take its toll. As the condition progresses dependence on others and fatigue will impact more and more.

Hair care

When it comes to washing hair, the easiest method is usually for the patient to sit or stand over a sink and for another person to assist. Baby shampoo is useful, as it doesnÂ’t sting if it accidentally gets into the individuals eyes.


Warm baths and showers can feel good and help to relieve muscle pain in those suffering from motor neurone disease as the warm water can provide a soothing effect. It can become difficult and dangerous to get in and out of a bath or shower, however and there are some useful aids that can be fitted to make the process easier and safer. Grab rails, shower seats, non-slip mats and long handled sponges can all be used to allow someone with motor neurone disease to continue bathing in private. As the condition progresses, mechanical hoists may be required. It is also very important to thoroughly dry the skin after bathing to maintain good skin care.


Using the toilet can be of the most stress inducing activities for someone suffering from motor neurone disease but also for their carer. Both parties are concerned with privacy and safety. There are aids that can be used in this area as well such simple paper dispensers, grab rails and toilets with spray washer and dryers that are operated by the feet.

Ear and eye care

Ears should be washed, rinsed and dried on a daily basis and a nurse should be seen if there is a build up of wax. Eyes can become dry as motor neurone disease causes you to blink less often so eye drops may be required. Eyes can be cleaned using cotton wool and warm water.

Mouth and tooth care

Teeth should be brushed after meals and electric toothbrush is often easier to use. Ice poles can be refreshing and keep the mouth feeling clean and wet. There are also saliva sprays that can be used for a dry mouth.

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