Motor neuron disease may affect cognition and behaviour

Apathy and loss of empathy common

Even though motor neuron disease (MND) has long been thought to ravage the body while leaving the mind untouched, a new study suggests the disease may also affect cognition and behavior.

Researchers analyzed thinking skills tests and caregiver questionnaires about behavioral symptoms like apathy and sympathy for 161 people with motor neuron disease. They also studied 80 matched healthy controls.

People with the disease did worse than the controls on all of the thinking tests except those involving visual-spatial skills, which aren't thought to be impacted by MND,