Neurology > Neuromuscular and Inherited Neuropathies

Neuromuscular and Inherited Neuropathies

Why choose Wayne Health for Neuromuscular and Inherited Neuropathies?

Wayne Health’s highly trained Neuromuscular Medicine specialists treat neuromuscular disorders that affect the nerves controlling your voluntary muscles, sensation and autonomic functions. When your nerve cells become diseased, the messages they send to your muscles and other organs fail. That can lead to muscle weakness, cramps, tripping, pain, numbness, pins/needles sensation and difficulty with walking.

Wayne Health specialists, who are also faculty at the Wayne State University School of Medicine, are renowned experts in neuromuscular disorders with a depth and breadth of knowledge and training far beyond that of a general adult or pediatric neurologist. This specialized expertise includes clinical evaluation and management of disorders of the motor neuron, nerve roots, peripheral nerves, neuromuscular junction and muscle, affecting patients of all ages.

Patients come from across the nation and the world to our subspecialty clinics focused on Charcot-Marie-Tooth diseases and other inherited peripheral nervous disorders.

Services offered

Peripheral Neuropathies 

  • Charcot-Marie Tooth Disease and other inherited peripheral neuropathies
  • Guillain Barré Syndrome
  • Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP) and other immune- mediated peripheral neuropathies
  • Diabetic Neuropathy
  • Paraproteinemic neuropathies
  • POEMS syndrome
  • Idiopathic polyneuropathies
  • Neuropathies of undetermined cause
  • Small fiber neuropathies
  • Cranial neuropathies
  • Entrapment neuropathies
  • Multiple mononeuropathies, including multifocal motor neuropathies
  • Cervical radiculopathies
  • Brachial plexopathies
  • Lumbar radiculopathies
  • Lumbar plexopathies
  • Chemotherapy induced polyneuropathy
  • Critical illness polyneuropathy
  • Peripheral nerve hyperexcitability syndromes

Motor Neuron Diseases 

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Primary lateral sclerosis
  • Progressive bulbar palsy
  • Spinobulbar muscular atrophy
  • Progressive muscular atrophy
  • Paraneoplastic motor neuron disease

Neuromuscular Junction Disorders 

  • Myasthenia Gravis
  • Lambert-Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome
  • Congenital Myasthenic Syndromes

Muscle Disorders and Pathology 

  • Muscular dystrophies
  • Myotonic dystrophies
  • Congenital myopathies
  • Muscle channelopathies and disorders of periodic paralysis
  • Inflammatory myopathies, including polymyositis, dermatomyositis, statin-associated autoimmune myopathy and inclusion body myositis
  • Metabolic myopathies
  • Toxic myopathies
  • Critical illness myopathies

Overview

There is a wide array of Neuromuscular Disorders and Inherited Neuropathies. Some of the more common disorders are described below:

Peripheral neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that affects the nerves that control the sense of touch, how a person feels pain and temperature, and muscle strength. A person who has peripheral neuropathy may find it hard to do things that require coordination, such as walking or fastening buttons.

Peripheral neuropathy is often caused by other health problems such as diabetes, kidney problems, vitamin deficiencies and alcohol use disorder, HIV, or Guillain-Barré syndrome. It can happen after exposure to toxic substances, such as arsenic, or by certain medicines such as those used for chemotherapy

Diabetic neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy is nerve damage caused by diabetes. Over time, high blood sugar can damage nerves throughout your body. Diabetic neuropathy can lead to serious foot problems and, in time, to autonomic problems like dizziness, diarrhea or constipation, sexual problems, bladder infections, and vision problems.

The older you get, and the longer you have diabetes, the more likely you are to have nerve damage. Controlling your blood sugar can help keep neuropathy from getting worse

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive wasting away of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control the muscles that allow movement. Over a period of months or years, ALS causes increasing muscle weakness, inability to control movement, and problems with speaking, swallowing, and breathing.

The cause of ALS is unknown, and there is no cure. Treatment focuses on helping you keep your strength and independence for as long as possible. Treatment includes medicines to slow the disease and help with symptoms, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and supportive devices to help with daily tasks

Muscular dystrophy

Symptoms

Each neuromuscular disorder has its own unique set of symptoms and individual patients may experience different symptoms. Symptoms that are frequently associated with neuromuscular disorders include:

  • Muscle weakness, aches and pains
  • Twitching and cramping
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Muscle loss or loss of muscle control
  • Loss of coordination and balance problems
  • Droopy eyelids
  • Double vision
  • Slurred speech
  • Difficulty with swallowing and/or breathing
  • Excessive sweating in the hands, armpits and feet (in the case of hyperhidrosis)
  • Issues with blood pressure, heart rate, digestion, urination and weight loss (when neuropathy affects the autonomic nervous system)

Diagnosis

Wayne Health specialists use the most advanced diagnostic procedures to accurately identify and diagnose neuromuscular disorders. These include:

  • Nerve conduction studies and electromyography
  • Autonomic testing
  • Nerve, muscle and skin biopsy
  • Genetic testing
  • Nerve and muscle imaging
  • Immunologic testing

Our approach to treatment

Wayne Health providers treat a wide range of neuromuscular conditions with a variety of treatments.  The type of treatment may vary greatly and depends upon your specific condition, the severity of your symptoms and your overall health. Our Neuromuscular team works with you to choose the treatments that best meet your individual needs.

Some treatments options at Wayne Health include medication therapies, immunomodulatory therapies (immunosuppressive drugs, plasmapheresis and IVIg) and physical therapy.

Our Charcot-Marie-Tooth Diseases Clinic (CMT) is dedicated specifically to patients with inherited peripheral nerve diseases, also called CMT. Our multidisciplinary team will coordinate your care needs and appointments on the same day of the visit to make it easy and convenient. The clinic has been recognized by the American CMT Association as a CMT Center of Excellence (CMTA Centers of Excellence). This clinic is a part of the Inherited Neuropathy Consortium (INC) and also supported by the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).

Wayne Health’s CMT Clinic is directed by Dr. Jun Li, professor and chair of Neurology at Wayne State University. Dr. Li is a renowned expert in CMT whose work is extensively published and whose laboratory is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the MDA.

Advancing research and medical education

Wayne Health physicians and researchers are also faculty at Wayne State University School of Medicine who conduct basic, translational and clinical research. This makes the latest treatments and clinical trials available to you sooner than other providers without a medical school affiliation, and before FDA approval or commercial availability.

Our physicians are actively involved in clinical and basic science research to improve scientific knowledge of neuromuscular disorders, to develop new treatments, and to improve the lives of people with neuromuscular disorders.

For more information, please visit the links below at the WSU School of Medicine.

Meet our doctors/providers