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What is Motor Neurone Disease?

Motor Neurone Disease (MND) or Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), is a progressive neurological condition that attacks the motor neurones, or nerves, in the brain and spinal cord. This means messages gradually stop reaching the muscles, which leads to weakness and wasting.

MND can affect how you walk, talk, eat, drink and breathe. However, not all symptoms necessarily happen to everyone and it is unlikely they will all develop at the same time, or in any specific order.


Genetics and lifestyle and environmental factors are thought to contribute to MND, although research is ongoing.

Why is FutureNeuro focused on Motor Neurone Disease?

MND strikes people of all ages and currently there is no cure, however symptoms can be managed to help the person achieve the best possible quality of life.

Early diagnosis is essential in the search for effective therapies for MND, but there is often a delay in diagnosis of 12-15 months. When the current life expectancy for those with MND is 3-5 years, an early diagnosis can improve symptoms.

Our investigators have already played leading roles in recent advances in pharmacogenomics and personalized therapies in MND and through our unique thematic approaches of DiagnosisTherapeutics and E-Health we aim to build upon that.

  • Orla Hardiman is a world leader in clinical MND research and has developed longest running and most successful population-base register in MND.
  • Jochen Prehn has pioneered imaging and mathematical modelling of neurological behaviour and co-discovered the MND risk gene.

Resources for people with Motor Neurone Disease

The Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association is the national support organisation for people affected by MND.