Clinical Case Database / Category: Case Based Discussion

Motor neuron disease

Publication details

Thomas W Payne, Christopher J McDermott
Foundation Years Journal, volume 7, issue 7, p.42 (123Doc Education, London, July 2013)


Mr Smith is 72 year old retired teacher who has been electively admitted to the Care of the Elderly ward with a 6 month history of progressive lower limb weakness. He now states he has difficulty swallowing. Your consultant is concerned he may have Motor Neuron Disease and wants to investigate him further with respect to this. You are the F1 and have been asked to clerk him, what do you need to be aware of?

Access the Clinical Cases Database

A subscription is required to read the full article. Please subscribe using one of the options below.

Foundation Years Clinical Cases Database£29.006 months
Add to cart
Foundation Years Clinical Cases Database£39.0012 months
Add to cart


Thomas W Payne

The Medical School, University of Sheffield,
Beech Hill Road,
Sheffield, S10 2RX

Christopher J McDermott

Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience,
University of Sheffield,
385A Glossop Road,
Sheffield, S10 2HQ


1. P. M. Worms. The epidemiology of motor neuron diseases: a review of recent studies. J Neurol Sci 2001, 191(1):3-9.
2. P. G. Ince, R. J. Highley, J. Kirby, S. B. Wharton, H. Takahashi, M. J. Strong and P. J. Shaw. Molecular pathology and genetic advances in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: an emerging molecular pathway and the significance of glial pathology. Acta Neuropathol 2011, 122:657 671.
3. H. R. Morris, A. J. Waite, N. M. Williams, J. W. Neal and D. J. Blake. Recent Advances in the Genetics of the ALS-FTLD Complex. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep 2012, 12:243-250.
4. A. Eisen and M. Swash. Clinical neurophysiology of ALS. Clinical Neurophysiology 2001, 112:2190-2201.
5. S. Wang, E. R. Melhem, H. Poptani and J. H. Woo. Neuroimaging in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Neurotherapeutics 2011, 8(1):63-71.
6. R. G. Miller, J. D. Mitchell and D. H. Moore. Riluzole for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)/motor neuron disease (MND). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, 3.
7. S. C. Bourke, R. E. Bullock, T. L. Williams, P. J. Shaw and G. J. Gibson. Noninvasive ventilation in ALS: Indications and effect on quality of life. Neurology 2003, 61(2):171-177.
8. P. M. Andersen, S. Abrahams and G. D. Borasio, et al. EFNS guidelines on the Clinical Management of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (MALS) – revised report of an EFNS task force. Eur J Neurol 2012, 19:360-375.
9. C. J. McDermott, C. Maguire and C. L. Cooper, et al. Protocol for diaphragm pacing in patients with respiratory muscle weakness due to motor neurone disease (DiPALS): a randomised controlled trial. BMC Neurology 2012, 12:74.


Conflict Of Interest

The Journal requires that authors disclose any potential conflict of interest that they may have. This is clearly stated in the Journal’s published “Guidelines for Authors”. The Journal follows the Guidelines against Conflict of Interest published in the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals (

Financial Statement

The authors of this article have not been paid. The Journal is financed by subscriptions and advertising. The Journal does not receive money from any other sources. The decision to accept or refuse this article for publication was free from financial considerations and was solely the responsibility of the Editorial Panel and Editor-in-Chief.

Patient Consent statement

All pictures and investigations shown in this article are shown with the patients’ consent. We require Authors to maintain patients’ anonymity and to obtain consent to report investigations and pictures involving human subjects when anonymity may be compromised. The Journal follows the Guidelines of the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts ( The Journal requires in its Guidelines for Authors a statement from Authors that “the subject gave informed consent”.

Animal & Human Rights

When reporting experiments on human subjects, the Journal requires authors to indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the HelsinkiDeclaration of 1975, as revised in 2008.

About the Clinical Cases Database

T​he Foundation Years Clinical Cases Database is​ a selection of 600 peer-reviewed clinical cases in the field of patient safety and clinical practice, specifically focused on the clinical information needs of junior doctors, based around the Foundation Year Curriculum programme (MMC). The cases have been chosen to align with the Foundation Year Curriculum.

The database is fully searchable, or can be browsed by medical specialty. Abstracts can be read free of charge, however a subscription is required in order to read the complete cases.