Neuromuscular disorders are a group of medical conditions in which muscles do not function as they should. This means you might be unable to control your movement. You may find your muscles are very weak.
We offer comprehensive expertise and treatments to help control neuromuscular disorders. Our board-certified experts can help you achieve the best quality of life.
What are neuromuscular disorders?
Neuromuscular disorders cause you to lose control of your movement. This often affects the eyes, mouth and limbs. The conditions affect nerves that allow communication between the muscles and the brain. These neurons become damaged or die, stopping communication and leaving muscles to weaken or waste away.
There are many types of neuromuscular disorders. This disease category includes many conditions that affect muscle function.
Types of neuromuscular disorders
Our doctors treat neuromuscular disorders including:
- Myositis, including polymyositis and dermatomyositis
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Spinal muscular atrophy
We also treat:
Neuromuscular disorder symptoms and risks
Signs of neuromuscular disorder, like weakness and difficulty controlling muscles, can happen in childhood or adulthood. They often worsen over time. In some people, the cause is genetic. In others, it is caused by an autoimmune dysfunction. Symptoms include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty swallowing
- Difficulty with balance
- Double vision
- Drooping eyelids
- Inability to control movement
- Muscle loss
- Sensory changes
- Slurred speech
- Tingling and numbness
- Weakness in limbs
Neuromuscular disorders diagnosis and screening
During your visit, our specialized neurologists perform a complete exam and take a full medical and family history. Doctors check reflexes and muscle strength. They may also order these diagnostic tests:
- Blood tests
- Electromyography to evaluate the electrical activity of the muscles
- Genetic testing
- Lumbar puncture
- Magnetic resonance imaging scan of the brain
- Muscle biopsy, in which a muscle sample is taken and evaluated under a microscope
- Nerve conduction study to determine whether signals travel from nerve to muscle correctly
Find a doctor
Doctors at The University of Kansas Health System are care providers and researchers at the forefront of new medical discoveries. From primary care to complex conditions, we offer hundreds of specialists.
Neuromuscular disorders treatment
Thanks to our partnership with the University of Kansas Medical Center, our neuromuscular disorder team is among the nation's most involved in clinical research and trials. You'll benefit from the field's most advanced treatment options.
While neuromuscular disorders are not curable, controlling symptoms is possible. Our experts use a variety of medications and therapies to help control symptoms. Patients often can work and enjoy their families, friends and hobbies, living full and normal lives.