What Is Motor Neurone Disease, What Are The Causes Of Stephen Hawking's Condition And What's The Life Expectancy? | The News Amed
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What Is Motor Neurone Disease, What Are The Causes Of Stephen Hawking’s Condition And What’s The Life Expectancy?



MOTOR neurone disease is a rare, incurable condition that affects the nervous system.

Here’s everything you need to know about the life-changing illness which causes muscle to visibly waste away – and recently claimed the life of celebrated actor Sam Shephard.

Getty Images British physicist Stephen Hawking has defied all odds since his diagnosis – but here’s why his case is so rare

What is motor neurone disease?

Motor neurone disease is a rare condition.

About two in every 100,000 Brits develop it each year.

It affects specialist nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, causing the function of motor neurons to break down.

When this neurodegeneration occurs, everyday activities become increasingly difficult or completely impossible.

Over time, the condition progressively worsens as the muscle weakens and can visibly waste.

The majority of those diagnosed with the disease are given a three-year life expectancy starting from when they first notice the symptoms.

Getty Images Often, symptoms can be noticed on one side of the body, before they spread and intensify

What causes motor neurone disease?

Even though there has been research into the cause of motor neurone disease, it is difficult to identify a particular trigger for the disease.

5-10% of all people with MND have the inherited or genetic form of the disease. Genes may still play a small part in other cases.

Whether there is a family history or not, other environmental triggers may still be needed for the disease to begin.

These triggers may be different for each individual.

Around 35 per cent of people with MND experience mild cognitive change, which can cause issues in executive functions such as planning, decision-making and language.

A further 15 per cent of people with MND show signs of frontotemporal dementia, which results in more pronounced behavioural change.

www.alamy.com As motor neurons are affected by the disease, mobility and body function worsen over time

What are the symptoms of motor neurone disease?

While motor neurone disease isn’t usually painful, symptoms can be extremely debilitating.

In many cases, signs of the disease will begin gradually.

Typically, this will occur on one side of the body only, before progressively worsening.

Heartbreakingly, motor neurone disease may leave the diagnosed unable to move or communicate property.

Swallowing and breathing may also become a difficult task.

The NHS outlines initial symptoms to look out for…

a weakened grip, which can cause difficulty picking up or holding objects weakness at the shoulder that makes lifting the arm difficult a “foot drop” caused by weak ankle muscles dragging of the leg slurred speech (dysarthria)

Getty Images There is no cure for ALS – but some treatment can be prescribed to improve the quality of life for those with motor neurone disease

How is motor neurone disease treated?

Medical research is yet to find a cure for the rare illness.

Despite this, there is some treatment that can help those with motor neurone disease have a better quality of life, as well as helping with their mobility and bodily functions.

For those who struggle with respiration, a breathing mask may be prescribed.

Riluzole is a medication that is used to help people with motor neurone disease, although it doesn’t prevent the condition progressing.

As it stands, this treatment has only shown a very small improvement in patients’ survival.

For more information, visit the MND Association’s official website.

When was Stephen Hawking diagnosed with motor neurone disease?

Remarkably, physics genius Stephen Hawking battled motor neurone disease since he was 21-years-old.

The national treasure, who died on March 14, 2018, aged 76, managed to defy all odds, especially given that he was diagnosed with two years to live.

Hawking regularly thanked the NHS for their assistance since his diagnosis at the age of 22.

He said he would “not be here without it” because he’d had a “large amount of high-quality treatment”.


The Simple Three Step Plan To Make Sure You Don’t Lose Sleep When The Clocks Go Forward This Weekend




DREADING losing an hour of sleep when the clocks go forward this weekend?

It may seem like a lot, but start taking the right steps early enough you’ll spring out of bed on Sunday morning like you’ve not lost any sleep at all.

Getty – Contributor If you prepare well enough, you won’t notice when you lose an hour of sleep over the weekend

The clocks are set to go forward an hour at 1am on Saturday night, signalling the start of British Summer Time.

But losing an hour of sleep can hit us quite hard, especially when we already live such busy lives.

And sleep expert Dave Gibson, founder of The Sleep Site, said it is harder for us to adjust to the clocks going forward than it is to the clocks going back later in the year.

“This is because it is hard to make yourself tired earlier,” he said.

Getty – Contributor Bad news for coffee lovers, you’ll have to ditch caffeine from Thursday

Luckily, he has a simple three step plan that you can begin on Thursday in order to make the most out of your Saturday night kip.

“The key is to ease yourself through the clocks change using this simple three-step time increment routine so you wake up, fully adjusted, in the new time zone on Sunday morning,” he added.

1. Thursday

Sorry, caffeine lovers – we’ve got bad news for you.

As of Thursday afternoon you need to put yourself on a caffeine detox.

That means no more coffee, tea or any other form of caffeinated drink.

“Stop all caffeine Thursday afternoon, this restriction will allow you to sleep better that evening and set up a more relaxed start to Friday,” Dave said.

Getty – Contributor Clocks are set to go back an hour at 1am on Saturday night to mark the start of British Summer Time

2. Friday

If you got through Thursday afternoon without your caffeine, well done.

If you struggled, Friday morning is going to be even worse because, you guessed it, you still can’t have caffeine.

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You also need to make sure you go to bed half an hour earlier than you normally do, so you’ll have to cut your Friday night drinks a bit short.

Dave explained: “Go without caffeine all day.

“This will make it easier to get to sleep half an hour earlier on Friday evening.

“Valerian, a herb which is proven to help make you feel tired in either T-Bag, tincture, or capsule form, will also help.

“Take it about 30-45 minutes before your planned bedtime. Or take chamomile tea as a substitute.”

Getty – Contributor Eating your meals an hour earlier on Saturday will help your body adjust to a new time zone

3. Saturday

Still no caffeine, but only one day to go.

By now you should have adjusted to a time zone that is half an hour earlier.

On Saturday you need to eat all of your meals half an hour earlier than normal and go to bed half an hour earlier than you did on Friday.

“You have now adjusted to a time zone that is half an hour earlier than your norm,” Dave said.

“Adjust all your meals half an hour earlier, too.

“Shift your bedtime another half an hour earlier on Saturday evening so you are now one whole hour forward.

“Again take Valerian to make yourself sleepier or if you can’t then try taking a warm bath with lavender or use drops on your pillow.

“Also, try a short meditation before bed.”

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Why Some Women Get Spots On Their Nipples – And When It Could Be A Sign Of Something Serious




EVER looked down and noticed spots on your boobs?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone, it’s something that happens to many women.

Getty – Contributor Some women get spots on their nipples – but there’s a variety of reasons it can happen

So why do they happen and are they something to worry about?

Most of the time a pimple here and there isn’t something to lose any sleep over.

But if you start to noticed more drastic changes in your breast, like continuous spots, a change in colour or lumps, then you need to see a doctor straight away.

Here’s what could be causing spots on your boobs – and when you need to worry.

knowyourlemons / Facebook This image of 12 lemons has gone viral on Facebook, revealing the 12 signs and symptoms everyone should know could indicate breast cancer

1. Breast cancer

The most serious reason you might notice spots on your boobs is breast cancer – and requires immediate attention.

It is uncommon for spots to be a sign of cancer, but it is not unheard of.

Other serious signs you should look out for are a red rash, lumps, swelling under the arms, pain and an inverted nipple.

There are more than 50,000 cases of breast cancer each year in the UK and one in eight women across the nation develop the disease at some point in their lifetime.

Experts advise that women should start checking their breasts for signs of cancer each month from their 20s.

You can find out more about the signs of breast cancer here.

Getty – Contributor An abscess can develop in your breast if you have an infection

2. Abscess

This is as painful as it sounds.

A breast abscess is a build-up of pus in the breast caused by infection.

If you have a breast abscess your boob will also be red and painful to touch.

You may also noticed lumps or spots.

You will need a course of antibiotics to clear up the infection.

The most common cause of an abscess is a condition called mastitis and is most common in breastfeeding women.

It can happen for a number of reasons, including the baby not properly attaching to the breast when feeding, infrequent feeds or missing feeds, a baby having problems sucking.

You should see a GP as soon as possible.

Getty – Contributor Women who are breastfeeding can develop milk blisters, which look like spots

3. Milk blisters

This is something that only affects breastfeeding women.

Milk blisters are fluid-filled bumps that occur when milk gets trapped in the skin.

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They are often down to an over production of milk or the baby not feeding properly.

Making sure your baby suckles properly and your milk ducts are clear will help prevent milk blisters.

Wiping the area clean after feeding will also help.

Some women find exfoliating the area when showering helps remove the spots.

If they are left untreated they can become swollen and painful, so visit your doctor if you are having trouble getting rid of them.

Getty – Contributor A yeast infection can occur when there is a build-up of bacteria on the skin, especially if the skin is warm a damp like in a bra

4. Yeast infection

Though a yeast infection was something you only got down there? Think again.

Yeast infections can occur on the skin, especially if the skin is moist and not getting enough air – think sweaty boobs in a bra all day.

The infection occurs when bacteria on the skin overgrows, causing a rash and, sometimes, spots.

You’re also likely to be quite red and itchy.

But don’t worry, it can be cleared up quickly with an anti-fungal cream.

Getty – Contributor Just like anywhere else on the body, ache can develop on your boobs


5. Acne

The most obvious reason you may see spots on your boobs.

Acne doesn’t just occur on the face, it can also occur on the back, chest and other parts of the body.

If you suffer from acne you should speak to a GP or dermatologist about treatment options.

They will be able to prescribe creams, antibiotics or other medications to clear up your spots.

Getty – Contributor Sometimes the glands that secrete oil onto your skin can become inflamed like spots

6. Swollen glands

Your boobs have their own little glands that secrete oil to keep the skin moist.

But these glands, called Montgomery glands, which normally look like small lumps on the areola, can become inflamed.

When this happens the oils that come out of them may resemble to pus in pimples.

But it is nothing to worry about and will often clear up on its own.

You should never squeeze them though, as this can leave you at risk of nasty skin infections.

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What Time Should I Sleep Each Night And How Much Sleep Do I Need For My Age?




IF YOU wake up in the morning feeling groggy, you may want to think about setting yourself a bed time.

Don’t worry, we’re not going to force you to get eight hours of shut eye every night, but you should be considering a few things when you think about your bedtime…

Getty Images Follow 90-minute sleep cycles to wake up feeling fresh

What time should I be going to sleep each night?

The ideal time to go to bed depends on what time you need to be up in the morning.

7-8 hours in the ‘general’ recommended amount for adults, but some suggest the most important thing to consider is your ‘sleep cycles’ instead of hours in bed.

A sleep cycle lasts 90 minutes and during that time, you body moves through five ‘stages’ of sleep: stage 1, a light sleep where muscle activity slows down; stage 2, where breathing and heart-rate slows further; stage 3, deep sleep; stage 4, very deep sleep; and stage 5, which includes rapid eye movement and dreaming.

Many say that as long as these cycles are no interrupted, you can sleep for as many or as little as you like without it affecting your tiredness the next day.

How much sleep do I need for my age?

The National Sleep Foundation recommends:

School age children (6-13): Sleep range widened by one hour to 9-11 hours (previously it was 10-11) Teenagers (14-17): Sleep range widened by one hour to 8-10 hours (previously it was 8.5-9.5) Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range is 7-9 hours (new age category) Adults (26-64): Sleep range did not change and remains 7-9 hours Older adults (65+): Sleep range is 7-8 hours (new age category)

What’s a good way to track my sleep?

Web Blinds have created a sleep calculator which allows you to work out your ideal bed time with just one click.

The calculator even factors in the amount of time you should be allowing to drift off – 14 minutes, to be precise – and those 90 minute sleep cycles.

Want to wake up feeling fresh at 7am? Head to bed at 9:46pm, 11:16pm or 12:46am for you night owls.

Getty Images Setting an alarm for 7am? Head to bed at 9:46pm, 11:16pm or 12:46am

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