Tests and Diagnosis

Tests and diagnosis

There is no one single test for MND. The diagnosis is made through a clinical examination and the history you give about your symptoms. There are also a number of tests which are used to rule out other possible causes of your problem. These include;

Blood test: looks for a rise in a substance called creatine kinase. This is produced when muscle breaks down. It is sometimes found in the blood of people with MND, but may indicate other conditions.

Electromyography (EMG): is sometimes called the needle test, as fine needles record the natural nerve impulses within certain muscles.

Nerve conduction test: applies an electrical impulse through a small pad on the skin. This measures the speed at which nerves carry electrical signals.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): scans involve being placed in a cylinder-like machine. The machine takes internal images of the body. These help rule out other conditions

Treatment and support

There’s no cure for motor neurone disease, but treatment can help reduce the impact the symptoms have on your life. You’ll be cared for by a team of specialists and your GP.
Treatments include:

  • highly specialised clinics, typically involving a specialist nurse and occupational therapy to help make everyday tasks easier
  • physiotherapy and exercises to maintain strength and reduce stiffness
  • advice from a speech and language therapist or dietitian about diet and eating
  • a medicine called riluzole that can slightly slow down the progression of the condition
  • medicines to relieve muscle stiffness and help make swallowing easier
  • emotional support for you and your carer