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Neurological Conditions

Motor Neurone Disease

Motor Neurone Disease (MND)  is where certain nerve cells in our body do not work properly. The nerve cells (called neurones) affected are those that are involved with the muscles that help with eating/swallowing, speaking, moving, and breathing. Because the nerve cells are damaged, the muscles are weakened and waste away.

Can a Dietitian help?

Yes. Advice from a Dietitian can help. This is particularly when a person with MND is not managing to eat enough and so becomes at risk of malnutrition.  Advice on ways to ensure enough calories are being eaten is very important.

Motor Neurone Disease NSW

MND NSW have useful factsheets on living with MND.

www.mndnsw.asn.au

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis or MS is a central nervous system disease (the brain and the spinal cord). The word 'multiple' refers to the fact that more than one part of the brain or spinal cord may be affected. The word 'sclerosis' means scarring and it is the scar tissue that affects the speed that messages travel along the nerves in these regions.

Because the nerve messages are affected in this area, all the activities that we do on a daily basis are affected. Memory, thinking, pain, numbness, speech, bladder and bowel function and coordination are all affected.

Can a Dietitian help?

A Dietitian can help a MS sufferer keep to a balanced diet. They can also help advise on dietary management as new study results are revealed. For e.g. recent research has involved the different types of dietary fats eaten.

MS Australia

This website includes factual information on the management of MS and the latest research in this area.

www.msaustralia.org.au

Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's Disease is a disorder where the nerve cells in a certain part of the brain are damaged. This part of the brain known as the Substantia Nigra ordinarily helps with regulating our smooth movements. It is able to do this due to a chemical called Dopamine.  With Parkinson's Disease there are less nerve cells and therefore less Dopamine in the Substantia Nigra.  This causes symptoms such as tremor, stiffness and slow movement.

Can a Dietitian help?

Again, yes a Dietitian help with managing with some of the side effects of Parkinson's Disease such as difficulties swallowing, poor dietary intake and constipation.  They can also help with understanding how certain foods interact with Parkinson's medications.

Parkinson's Australia

This organisation provides information on all parts of Parkinson's Disease management from medications and nursing though to nutrition, speech and swallowing.

www.parkinsons.org.au