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Diseases » Motor neuron diseases » Glossary

Glossary for Motor neuron diseases

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: A motor neuron disease involving progressive degeneration and eventual destruction of the function of nerves that control voluntary movement.
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease: A very rare degenerative brain disease that can be inherited, transmitted (eg in surgical transplants using infected tissue) or as a result of genetic mutations. The condition is fatal.
  • Degenerative conditions: Diseases characterized by a progressive and degenerative decline.
  • Limb weakness: A condition which is characterized by a feeling of weakness of the muscles of the limb
  • Monomelic Amyotrophy: Rare motor neuron disease with good prognosis.
  • Movement disorders: Medical conditions affecting the movement systems, such as walking or tremor.
  • Muscle conditions: Any condition that affects the muscles of the body
  • Muscle weakness: A condition which is characterized by an inability of the muscles to function at their full strenght
  • Musculoskeletal conditions: Medical conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system of bones, muscles and related structures.
  • Nervous system conditions: Diseases affecting the nerves and the nervous system.
  • Neuromuscular conditions: Conditions affecting the nerve-muscle systems.
  • Post-polio syndrome: A condition where patients who have a history of polio have a reoccurrence of muscle symptoms. The condition usually occurs at least ten years after partial or complete recovery from polio.
  • Primary Lateral Sclerosis: A neurological disorder involving the upper motor nerves and causing progressive muscle weakness in the extremities and facial area. This condition involves mutations in the same gene and overlapping symptoms with juvenile primary lateral sclerosis but the difference is that primary lateral sclerosis only involves degeneration of the upper motor neurons whereas infantile-onset spastic paralysis is more severe and involves degeneration of upper and lower motor neurons.
  • Progressive bulbar palsy: impairment of the function of the lower cranial nerves due to a lower motor neuron lesion
  • Progressive muscular atrophy: A condition which is characterized by painless, degenerative myopathies.
  • Slurred speech: Slurring speech or difficulty articulating words
  • Spinal Muscular Atrophy: A rare condition characterized by progressive degeneration of the spinal and brainstem motor neurons. During fetal development excess primary neurons are formed. The body automatically destroys the extra primary neurons so that only some survive and mature into neurons. In spinal muscular dystrophy, the process that destroys the excess primary neurons doesn't switch off and continues destroying the neurons resulting in progressive motor problems. Various types of the condition range from mild to severe enough to cause death within a couple of years of birth.
  • Swallowing difficulty: Difficulty or pain when swallowing
  • Tay Sachs Disease: A condition which is causes GM2 gangliosidosis
  • Walking symptoms: Problems with walking.


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