2 Indications and current treatments
2.1 Motor neurone disease is a neurodegenerative condition affecting the brain and spinal cord. The most common type of the disease is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Motor neurone disease is characterised by the degeneration of primarily motor neurones, leading to muscle weakness, limb weakness, problems with speech, swallowing and breathing, which ultimately leads to respiratory failure and death.
2.2 Current standard care for managing chronic respiratory failure in patients with motor neurone disease includes non-invasive forms of ventilation support (such as Bi-level positive airway pressure [BiPAP]). In advanced stages of respiratory failure mechanical ventilation is done through a permanent tracheostomy.