Millions of people in the United States are affected by one of many neuromuscular disorders, a term used to describe a class of diseases that cause degeneration of the muscles or nerves that control movement or sensation. Neuromuscular disorders' symptoms vary widely, and in some cases can be progressive and debilitating. Many — but not all — neuromuscular diseases have a genetic basis.
The Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin Neuromuscular Program provides comprehensive care for patients diagnosed with neuromuscular diseases, including peripheral neuropathies, myopathies, muscular dystrophies, myasthenia gravis, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We provide extensive diagnostic options and a therapeutic approach to neuromuscular diseases. The program's physicians are fellowship-trained in neuromuscular disease and board-certified in electromyography. In addition, a team of social workers and nurse specialists works closely with patients and families affected by neuromuscular diseases.
Patients' initial evaluation typically includes a detailed history and neurological and medical examination. Other tests may be used to confirm diagnoses, including specialized blood tests, electromyogram (EMG) and nerve or muscle biopsy.
Treatment for neuromuscular disorders depends on patients' specific diagnoses and needs. Physicians in the program have specialized expertise in the use of oral and IV immunosuppressive and chemotherapy drugs that can help slow the progression of disease. Some patients also benefit from intravenous gamma globulin injections or from plasmapheresis, a blood-washing technique used to rid the body of antibodies that may be attacking nerve cells.
Muscular Dystrophy ClinicTwice each month, the Neuromuscular Program offers a clinic for patients with Muscular Dystrophy. It's sponsored by the Muscular Dystrophy Association, which has designated Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin as the Muscular Dystrophy clinic for southeastern Wisconsin. For more information about the Muscular Dystrophy Clinic, please call 414-805-3666 or 800-272-3666.