What are the treatment options?Persons with MND require the support of a multi-disciplinary team to help them live and cope with such a complex and challenging condition. The team usually includes:
There is currently no cure for MND, but medications, therapies and assistive devices can help people with MND manage and come to terms with their condition.
Medication: drugs to slow down the progression of MND are limited and only have a modest effect, however medication can help manage symptoms such as pain, excessive saliva, constipation, anxiety and depression.
Therapies: support and advice from a range of allied healthcare professionals can help people with MND and their caregivers manage their symptoms and live as independently as possible. Examples include:
Assistive devices: these can help persons with MND manage their symptoms, continue to engage with those around them and live as independently as possible. Examples include communication aids, walking aids or other mobility devices e.g. motorized wheelchairs, orthoses; tools to help with tasks of daily living such as eating, dressing, hygiene; pressure relief mattress/ cushion; hospital bed; feeding tube; ventilator
Counselling and support: feelings of hopelessness and depression are relatively common due to the lack of a cure and severe disability MND causes. Counselling and strong social support can help people with MND and their family members come to terms with the diagnosis, find positive meaning in life and find ways to cope with the condition.
Advance care planning: MND is a life-limiting condition and communication challenges are common because it affects speech. Advance care planning in the early stages of the disease helps ensure the person’s goals, values and care wishes are respected throughout their illness and when they pass on.
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