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Neuromuscular Diseases & Disorders

The broad category of neuromuscular diseases or disorders covers conditions that involve the weakness or wasting of the body muscles.

These problems may arise in the spinal cord, the peripheral nerves or the muscle fibers. Some may be hereditary, while others are acquired.

Commonly recognized conditions fall into 3 categories:

  • Myopathies – Diseases of the muscle; for example, muscular dystrophy
  • Disorders of neuromuscular junction – Disorders of the junction where the nerve impulses are transmitted to the muscle; for example, myasthenia gravis
  • Neuropathies – Diseases of the peripheral nervous system; for example, diabetic neuropathy

Wake Forest Baptist Approach

Patients complaining of weakness, tingling or other symptoms associated with neuromuscular disorders are seen by a neurologist specializing in neuromuscular disorders.

After thorough physical and neurological evaluations, the patient may be referred to the Diagnostic Neurology Department. Many sophisticated electrodiagnostic procedures are available for the patients.

The multi-disciplinary team includes physicians from Neurology and Otolaryngology, as well as electrodiagnostic technicians and nurse clinicians. Patients unable to go to the laboratory can be tested at bedside with portable equipment.

Treatment includes the medications, procedures and surgeries all aimed at improving the muscle strength of the patients.

For at least 10 years, the Medical Center has been active in finding new drugs to treat the pain associated with diabetic neuropathy.

The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) sponsors a monthly clinic in the Department of Neurology that provides comprehensive medical services to patients with certain neuromuscular diseases. (neuro page)

Patients who participate in the MDA clinic will receive a neurological examination, appropriate testing necessary to achieve diagnosis, physical therapy assessments and follow-up care from our neuromuscular specialists.

They may also be eligible for evaluation by cardiologists, orthopedists and other specialists at the Medical Center for problems related to their MDA diagnosis.

Once a patient is affiliated with the MDA, a patient is eligible for direct services that may include the purchase and repair of wheelchairs and braces, recreation at an MDA summer camp and selected transportation needs. 

Request an appointment online today to receive more information about your personal health and learn how Wake Forest can help.

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Last Updated: 03-18-2016
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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.

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