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Diagnosing MND

How is MND diagnosed?

The diagnosis of MND is often clinically difficult, and sometimes it is necessary to review a person for some time before the diagnosis can be confirmed. A general practitioner may suspect a neurological problem and organise referral to a neurologist (a doctor who specialises in disorders of the nervous system).

Many other conditions can mimic motor neurone disease early in the disease. Diagnosis requires an expert neurological opinion and often a series of detailed investigations. Diagnosis may take some time to be established, although diagnosis may be confirmed rapidly by a neurologist.

The diagnosis can be assisted through a range of tests, including some which eliminate other conditions. Nerve conduction studies (NCS) involve analysing neural function by electrical stimulation of nerves and recording muscle activity. Often an Electromyograph (EMG) is used, in which a needle is inserted into various muscles to measure their electrical activity. This can assist with both diagnosis and prognosis.