Motor Neuron Disease

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

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It is possible that the main title of the report Motor Neuron Disease is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.


  • Motoneuron Disease
  • Motoneurone Disease
  • Motor Neurone Disease
  • Motor Neuron Syndrome

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Motor neuron disease comprises a group of severe disorders of the nervous system characterized by progressive degeneration of motor neurons (neurons are the basic nerve cells that combine to form nerves). Motor neurons control the behavior of muscles. Motor neuron diseases may affect the upper motor neurons, nerves that lead from the brain to the medulla (a part of the brain stem) or to the spinal cord, or the lower motor neurons, nerves that lead from the spinal cord to the muscles of the body, or both. Spasms and exaggerated reflexes indicate damage to the upper motor neurons. A progressive wasting (atrophy) and weakness of muscles that have lost their nerve supply indicate damage to the lower motor neurons.

Supporting Organizations

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association

27001 Agoura Road
Suite 250
Calabasas Hills, CA 91301-5104
Tel: (818)880-9007
Fax: (818)880-9006
Tel: (800)782-4747

Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD)

Radnor Station Building #2, Suite 320
290 King of Prussia Road
Radnor, PA 19087
Tel: (267)514-7221
Tel: (866)507-7222

Cure SMA

925 Busse Road
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
Tel: (847)367-7620
Tel: (800)886-1762

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center

PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311

International Alliance of ALS/MND Associations

P.O. Box 246
Northampton, NN1 2PR
United Kingdom
Tel: 441604611821
Fax: 441604624726

MND Scotland

76 Firhill Rd
Glasgow, G20 7BA
Tel: 1419451077
Fax: 1419452578

Motor Neurone Disease Association

PO Box 246
Northampton, NN1 2BG
United Kingdom
Tel: 1604250505
Fax: 441604624726

Muscular Dystrophy Association

3300 East Sunrise Drive
Tucson, AZ 85718-3208
Tel: (520)529-2000
Fax: (520)529-5300
Tel: (800)572-1717

NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

P.O. Box 5801
Bethesda, MD 20824
Tel: (301)496-5751
Fax: (301)402-2186
Tel: (800)352-9424

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site or email

Last Updated:  12/13/1969
Copyright  2007 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.