In MND, negative energy balance resulting in weight loss and reduced BMI contributes to faster disease progression and shorter survival, whereas maintenance of body weight can extend survival. Therefore, the development of strategies to prevent or slow weight loss in MND is of critical clinical importance. In developing these strategies, it is important that all causes for weight loss be understood, including causes for loss of appetite.This project will recruit patients with Motor Neuron Disease and healthy participants. All participants will be aged between 35 and 80 years. Participants with respiratory function tests with FVC<60% of predicted will be excluded from participation in the study.  

  • Primary Objective: Determine whether neuronal processes of appetite control are disrupted in some individuals with MND
  • Secondary Objective :Separate complex behaviours from physiological impairments that contribute to loss of appetite in MND
  • Additional Objective:Determine whether defects in appetite control in MND contributes to weight loss, worsening disease progression and earlier death.

This study will combine brain imaging with dietary, neuropsychological and clinical assessment scores. During the research visit, participants will complete the following study components; structural and functional brain imaging (MRI), appetite and dietary assessments, neuropsychology assessments.