Indicators and prevalence of malnutrition in motor neurone disease

Eur Neurol. 1998 Oct;40(3):159-63. doi: 10.1159/000007973.


We investigated the nutritional status of a cross-sectional sample of 47 patients with motor neurone disease (MND). Anthropometric measurements (mid-arm circumference and triceps skinfold thickness) and dietary analysis were taken by a trained observer. 21% of patients were moderately to severely malnourished. Patients with bulbar onset were no more likely to be malnourished than patients with limb onset. Measurements of mid-upper-arm muscle circumference indicated that men were more malnourished than women (p = 0.002). We conclude that malnutrition is more prevalent than generally appreciated in patients with MND, including those who do not have swallowing difficulties.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disease Progression
  • Energy Intake
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Neuron Disease / complications
  • Motor Neuron Disease / diagnosis*
  • Nutrition Disorders / complications
  • Nutrition Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Nutrition Disorders / epidemiology
  • Prevalence