Motor Neurone Disease: Diagnosis

Department of Health written question – answered on 26th May 2016.

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Photo of Michelle Donelan Michelle Donelan Conservative, Chippenham

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure the earliest possible diagnosis of motor neurone disease.

Photo of Jane Ellison Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

On the 24 February 2016, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published a new guideline on the assessment and management of motor neurone disease (MND). The guideline sets out the signs and symptoms of the disease and recommends that robust protocols and pathways are in place to inform healthcare professionals about MND and how it may present and to inform healthcare professionals in all settings about local referral arrangements. NICE is clear that patients suspected of having MND should be referred without delay. The guideline can be found at the following link:

To support general practitioners (GPs) to spot the potential symptoms of MND, the Royal College of GPs (RCGP) and the MND Association have worked together to produce a ‘Red Flag Tool’ which sets out key signs of MND to help GPs to identify suspected cases and refer them promptly to a neurologist for appropriate investigation. The RCGP and the British Medical Journal have also both produced MND e-learning courses which together cover both signs and symptoms as well as disease management.

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