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Options for Motor Neuron Disease Treatment in India

Statistics reveal a significant impact of motor neuron disease in India with an incidence of 2 in 100,000

Motor neuron disease is a group of progressive neurological disorders that cause muscle weakness and eventual paralysis. Although, management of the disease is possible in  conventional treatment regime, innovative therapies definitely offer symptomatic relief. 

Without spending more time, let us know in some detail about motor neuron disease and the advanced therapeutic option currently available. 

What is motor neuron disease and what are its types?  

motor neuron disease treatment in india

As said in the beginning, motor neuron diseases (MNDs) are a group of progressive neurological disorders that affect the motor neurons, which are the cells responsible for controlling skeletal muscle activity. Here is a list of some motor neuron diseases:

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

ALS is the most common type of MND. It affects both the upper and lower motor neurons and causes muscle weakness in your body. ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Progressive bulbar palsy (PBP) 

PBP primarily affects the motor neurons in the brainstem. It will be difficult for you to speak, swallow, and make facial movements.  

Primary lateral sclerosis (PLS)

PLS damages the upper motor neurons, leading to muscle stiffness, weakness, and spasticity. PLS progresses more slowly than other types of MND.

Progressive muscular atrophy (PMA) 

PMA  affects the lower motor neurons in the spinal cord which leads to muscle weakness and wasting. PMA progresses more slowly than ALS.

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) 

SMA is an inherited MND that occurs in children. It is caused by a genetic mutation that leads to the loss of motor neurons, resulting in muscle weakness and atrophy.

Kennedy’s disease 

Kennedy’s disease, also known as spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy, is a rare genetic MND that is predominantly found in males. It is caused by a mutation in the androgen receptor gene and leads to muscle weakness and wasting.

Post-polio syndrome

Post-polio syndrome can occur years after a person has recovered from polio. Muscle weakness, fatigue, and muscle atrophy are some of the symptoms of post polio syndrome. 

Causes of motor neuron disease

motor neuron disease treatment

Research suggests that a combination of genetic and environmental factors play a role in causing motor neuron disease. 

Here are some factors that have been associated with MND:

Genetic mutations

In some cases, MND can be inherited due to specific genetic mutations, which include mutations in genes such as SOD1, C9orf72, TARDBP, and FUS have been linked to certain forms of MND.

Environmental factors 

There is ongoing research into the potential role of environmental factors in the development of MND. Some studies have suggested a possible association between exposure to certain toxins, such as heavy metals or pesticides, and an increased risk of MND. However, more research is needed to establish a definitive link.

Oxidative stress

Oxidative stress, which occurs when there is an imbalance between the production of free radicals in your body and the body’s ability to neutralize them. The phenomenon  has been implicated in the development of MND. Free radicals can damage cells, including motor neurons, leading to their degeneration.


Inflammation in the nervous system, known as neuroinflammation, has been observed in individuals with MND. It is believed that chronic inflammation may contribute to the degeneration of motor neurons.


Excitotoxicity refers to the excessive activation of certain receptors in the brain, causing  overstimulation and damage of neurons. Excitotoxicity in your receptors may play a role in the degeneration of motor neurons in MND.

Treatment of motor neuron disease 

motor neuron disease

 The treatment of motor neuron disease (MND) aims to manage symptoms and slow down the progression of the disease. There are various treatment options available. Here are some common approaches:


Certain medications may be prescribed to help manage specific symptoms of MND. For example, medications such as riluzole and edaravone are approved for the treatment of ALS and may help slow down the progression of the disease. 

Other medications may be prescribed to manage symptoms like muscle cramps, pain, or excessive saliva production.

Physical therapy

Physical therapy plays a crucial role in managing MND. It focuses on maintaining mobility, improving muscle strength and flexibility, and managing symptoms such as muscle stiffness and spasticity. Physical therapists can provide exercises, stretching techniques, and assistive devices to help you maintain independence. 

Occupational therapy

Occupational therapy aims to help you adapt to the changes caused by MND and maintain the ability to perform daily activities. Occupational therapists can provide strategies and assistive devices to help with tasks such as dressing, eating, and using specialized equipment.

Speech and swallowing therapy 

As MND progresses, you may experience difficulties with speech and swallowing. Speech and swallowing therapists can provide techniques and exercises to improve communication and swallowing function. They may also recommend assistive devices such as speech-generating devices or modified diets to ensure safe swallowing.

Respiratory support

MND can affect the muscles involved in breathing, leading to respiratory difficulties. Respiratory support may include non-invasive ventilation (NIV) or invasive ventilation (tracheostomy) to assist with breathing.

Palliative care 

Palliative care focuses on providing you relief from symptoms, managing pain, and addressing emotional and psychological needs

Stem Cell Therapy for motor neuron disease 

Stem cell treatment for motor neuron disease (MND) is an area of ongoing research and investigation and it offers advanced treatment options. Here are some key points regarding stem cell treatment for MND:

Research and clinical trials

Scientists and medical researchers are actively studying the use of stem cells in the treatment of MND. Clinical trials are being conducted to evaluate the safety and efficacy of different stem cell therapies in MND patients.

Potential benefits

Stem cell therapy aims to replace or repair damaged your motor neurons  The goal is to slow down the progression of the disease and improve motor function. Stem cells have the potential to differentiate into various cell types, including motor neurons, making them a promising avenue for treatment.

Types of stem cells

Different types of stem cells are being explored for MND treatment, including embryonic stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Each type has its own advantages and considerations in terms of availability, differentiation potential, and ethical considerations.

Challenges and limitations

There are several challenges and limitations associated with stem cell treatment for MND. These include the need for optimized protocols for stem cell differentiation into motor neurons, ensuring the survival and integration of transplanted cells, and addressing potential immune rejection issues.


Symptomatic treatment is available to manage the symptoms of MND.  It is important for individuals with MND to receive thorough diagnostic evaluations and appropriate management under the guidance of healthcare professionals who are mainly physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech pathologists 

Stem cell therapy is a promising treatment option for MND. Although huge progress has been made in stem cell cure for MND, a lot more needs to be done. Stem cell therapy has the potential to provide complete symptomatic relief for MND patients.


Q1. Is motor neurone disease curable in India?

There are treatments for the management of the disease.  Symptomatic cure is possible by using advanced treatment options like stem cell therapy. 

Q2. Is MND curable in Ayurveda?

Ayurveda may not offer complete symptomatic relief for MND patients.

Q3.  What is the best medicine for motor neuron disease?

Stem cell therapy along with occupational therapy are the best treatment choices for MND.

Author: MedicoExperts

A Global Virtual Hospital

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