Kennedy’s Disease (Spinal bulbar muscular atrophy)

This is a progressive disorder of motor neurones that shares traits with MND, although this disease is caused by genetic mutation. Women can carry this mutation, but the actual disease only affects men.

Early symptoms include tremor of the outstretched hands, muscle cramps with exertion, and fasciculation (fleeting muscle twitches visible under the skin). Eventually, individuals develop limb weakness which usually begins in the pelvic or shoulder regions. Weakness of the facial and tongue muscles may occur later in the course of the disease and often leads to dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing), dysarthria (slurring of speech), and recurrent aspiration pneumonia.

Onset of this disease generally occurs between the ages of 20 and 40, with a normal life expectancy.