• Nerve and Muscle Diseases

    Types of Neuromuscular Diseases

    Diseases of the neuromuscular system include:

    • Peripheral neuropathy
    • Myopathy
    • Diseases of the neuromuscular junction (e.g., myasthenia gravis)
    • Motor neuron disease (e.g., ALS)
    • Mononeuropathies

    Jayashri Srinivasan, MD, a Lahey neurologist specializing in the treatment of neuromuscular diseasesThe symptoms of peripheral neuropathy are typically numbness, tingling, weakness or burning pain in both feet or in the hands and feet.

    Patients with muscle disease, or myopathy, typically have painless weakness that affects both sides of the body equally, commonly in muscles that affect their ability to use their arms over their head or arise from chairs or ascend stairs easily.

    Patients with neuromuscular transmission problems often have weakness in muscles in the head or neck area, causing drooping of eyelids, double vision, or difficulty with swallowing, speaking, chewing or breathing. These symptoms tend to worsen with use or as the day goes on.

    Motor neuron disease patients have painless weakness that usually begins in one hand or one foot, but may start with problems speaking or swallowing, as well.

    Patients with mononeuropathies usually become aware of numbness, tingling or weakness in a limited area of one or more limbs.

    Diagnosis and Treatment

    H. Royden Jones, Jr., MD, assessing a patient with a neuromuscular disorderFollowing neuromuscular specialty consultation, we may recommend patients undergo the following tests:

    • EMG and nerve conduction studies, including single fiber EMG
    • Quantitative sensory testing
    • Autonomic nervous system testing

    We may also refer our patients to the following specialty clinics for additional treatment:

    To reach either of the above clinics, please call 781-744-8630.

    Expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of both rare and common neuromuscular diseases is offered by H. Royden Jones, Jr., MD; James A. Russell, DO; and Jayashri Srinivasan, MD. In addition to providing highly specialized clinical care, these physicians are actively engaged in a number of neuromuscular disease research studies. Under Dr. Russell's leadership, the team also educates fellows in the highly competitive Neurology-Neurophysiology/EMG Fellowship program. Please call 781-744-8630 to request an appointment with one of our neuromuscular disease specialists.

    For additional information, please refer to our nerve and muscle disease resources.

    Curt & Shonda Schilling ALS Clinic

    Lahey Hospital & Medical Center is proud to partner with the ALS Association Massachusetts Chapter to offer a center of excellence for people living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. ALS is a motor neuron disease characterized by progressive weakening and wasting of all voluntary muscles – including those associated with moving, speaking, swallowing and breathing.

    The purpose of the Curt & Shonda Schilling ALS Clinic is to enable the patient to maintain a maximum level of neurological functioning in a supportive and understanding environment. It is the only ALS Association Clinic in Massachusetts.

    Each of the patient's visits to the Clinic allows him or her and designated family members the opportunity to meet with the full team of specialists, including neurologists, a nurse practitioner, physical therapists, an occupational therapist, speech and swallowing therapists, a respiratory therapist, a nutritionist and social workers. We can also arrange for our patients to meet with vendors of durable medical equipment and a representative of the ALS Association Massachusetts Chapter.

    The Muscular Dystrophy Clinic

    Many patients are seen in our Muscular Dystrophy Clinic, sponsored by the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). Funding is available through the Muscular Dystrophy Association to help our patients financially with hardware and medications.

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