Information for Patients
Neuromuscular disorders affect your neuromuscular system. They can cause problems with
- The nerves that control your muscles
- Your muscles
- Communication between your nerves and muscles
These disorders can cause your muscles to become weak and waste away. You may also have symptoms such as spasms, twitching, and pain.
Examples of neuromuscular disorders include
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Muscular dystrophy
- Myasthenia gravis
- Spinal muscular atrophy
There can be different causes for these diseases. Many of them are genetic.This means they are inherited (run in families) or are caused by a new mutation in your genes. Some neuromuscular disorders are autoimmune diseases. Sometimes the cause is not known.
Many neuromuscular diseases have no cure. But treatments may improve symptoms, increase mobility, and lengthen life.
Peripheral Nerve Disorders
Your peripheral nerves are the ones outside your brain and spinal cord. Like static on a telephone line, peripheral nerve disorders distort or interrupt the messages between the brain and the rest of the body.
There are more than 100 kinds of peripheral nerve disorders. They can affect one nerve or many nerves. Some are the result of other diseases, like diabetic nerve problems. Others, like Guillain-Barre syndrome, happen after a virus infection. Still others are from nerve compression, like carpal tunnel syndrome or thoracic outlet syndrome. In some cases, like complex regional pain syndrome and brachial plexus injuries, the problem begins after an injury. Some people are born with peripheral nerve disorders.
Symptoms often start gradually, and then get worse. They include
- Burning or tingling
- Muscle weakness
- Sensitivity to touch
Treatment aims to treat any underlying problem, reduce pain and control symptoms.
NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke