Evidence shows that the best possible treatment for MND is the support of a specialised multidisciplinary team.
There are many medical and allied health professionals that provide support to people living with MND in different areas of need.
Below are the descriptions of each of the types of allied health professionals who form part of a multidisciplinary team.
Aged Care Workers
Community aged care workers provide general household assistance, emotional support, care and companionship to people in their homes.
Dietitians provide dietary and nutritional advice including advice about modified meals, hydration and timely nutritional support.
The general practitioner (GP) is a doctor providing general medical care. GPs are usually your first point of medical contact. The GP liaises with the neurologist and other health and community care providers.
MND Association Advisors
MND Association Advisors help people with MND connect to the services they need. MND Advisors also offer ongoing information to families and service providers as questions arise or needs change.
The neurologist is a doctor who specialises in disorders of the nervous system. The neurologist coordinates the tests you need for diagnosis and monitors disease progression and management of your symptoms.
An occupational therapist (OT) helps to maintain mobility, function and independence. OTs provide advice about home modification, different ways of performing tasks and specialised equipment.
An orthotist can assist with the advice and timely provision of artificial or mechanical aids, such as braces to prevent or assist movement of weak or injured joints or muscles to help prolong function of the patients. It is recommended that the orthotist be visited early on to provide prompt access to orthotics.
Palliative Care Team
The palliative care team specialises in interventions that can improve quality of life for people with life limiting conditions. Palliative care services may also provide emotional support for people living with MND and can assist you to plan your future care.
A physiotherapist helps you maintain physical activity and mobility. Physiotherapists can also show your family or carer how to safely help you move from one position to another, for example, moving from a chair to a bed.
The respiratory specialist is a doctor who specialises in disorders of the lungs and breathing. The respiratory specialist provides information and advice about breathing and motor neurone disease including timely access to non-invasive ventilation.
The role of the Registered nurse, MND nurse, clinical nurse consultant or clinical nurse specialist is varied and can include ongoing care and care coordination, often for people in their own homes. Specialised MND nurses usually work in MND clinics and have particular expertise in motor neurone disease symptom management.
Social Worker, Psychologist or Accredited Counsellor
A social worker, psychologist or accredited counsellor provides counselling on the psychological and emotional aspects of living with MND. In addition, a social worker can provide information on community services that may assist you with accommodation, legal, financial and other issues.
A speech pathologist helps in the management of communication and swallowing. They can advise about communication aids and devices, swallowing techniques and food consistency.
Support coordinators assist people who are diagnosed with MND when aged 64 or younger who have an NDIS plan that includes support coordination. The coordinators assist people to enact their NDIS plan and find suitable local services.
For more information see the Multidisciplinary Care Team fact sheet.
View Fact Sheet