From the Times-News:
A neurologist treating Marc Basnight has identified the former North Carolina Senate leader’s chronic health condition as a motor neuron disease that affects his brain stem, making it difficult for him to speak.
Basnight, a Dare County Democrat, is diagnosed with what’s called progressive bulbar palsy, which affects nerves down to the larynx, according to Dr. Benjamin Brooks of Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.
Basnight, who served a record 18 years as Senate leader, didn’t have a name for his condition when he left office in January 2011. It was known for years that Basnight, now 64, had a degenerative nerve disease that affected his balance and slowed his speech.