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What is MND?

Motor neurone disease (MND) is the name given to a group of diseases in which the nerve cells (neurones) controlling the muscles that enable us to move, speak, breathe and swallow stop working and die. With no nerves to activate them the muscles gradually weaken and waste. In most cases, a person with MND will die within two to four years of diagnosis.

About 10% of MND cases are familial, meaning that more than one family member has or has had MND because of a gene mutation. The remaining 90% of cases have sporadic MND with no known cause.

While MND gene mutations have given scientists clues to the physiological processes involved in MND, there is still a great deal of work to do before we understand the exact mechanisms that cause MND so that we can cure this debilitating disease.

Professor Dominic Rowe AM with Zebrafish
Macquarie University Centre for Motor Neuron Disease Research