There is no cure for MND, but a medication has now been approved in Australia for people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, including progressive bulbar palsy) - the most common form of MND. This drug is riluzole (Rilutek), which is available at a subsidised price on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. There are some strict criteria governing who can receive subsidised riluzole, and it is best to discuss these with a neurologist. MND NSW has a fact sheet about rilzole here.
Costly and unproven therapies are sometimes recommended by well meaning people. Professional advice should be sought before embarking on unproven therapies. It is important to discuss the likely benefits of expensive therapy compared with, for example, changes to the home, employment of additional home assistance, or the peace of mind of the person who wishes to leave their family well provided for.
Researchers are developing and trialling other drugs that may slow down the progression of the disease or combat some of the symptoms. For further information speak to a neurologist, contact MND NSW or visit the MND Research Institute of Australia website. You may also like to look at the section on this website about participating in research.
Occasionally, major advances are broadcast in the media. Further information can be obtained by using a ‘search facility' when connected to the Internet. Motor Neurone Disease Associations keep a close watch on research progress and findings, and always have the latest information available.
Although there is currently no cure, it is not true to say that, ‘nothing can be done for the person with motor neurone disease'. A great deal can be done to maintain quality of life and address many of the effects of the disease. See the MND NSW Living Better for Longer fact sheets on this website for more information.