Last reviewed 01/2018

The aetiology of motor neurone disease is unknown. 5-10% of cases show a family link. The others occur sporadically.

Syndromes resembling MND may occur:

  • following chronic poisoning with mercury, lead, manganese, or selenium
  • in association with disorders of metabolism - hypoglycaemia, uraemia, macroglobulinaemia, and following gastric surgery
  • following trauma/injury to a limb (1)
  • in association with other progressive degenerative diseases of the nervous system of unknown aetiology - Pick's disease, parkinsonism, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
  • it is endemic in island of Guam where it may occur with parkinsonism and dementia