What are neuromuscular disorders?
Neuromuscular disorders affect the nerves and skeletal muscles such as those found in the arms and the legs. When nerve cells are unhealthy, communication between the nervous system and the muscles breaks down, resulting in weakness. Diseases can also compromise muscle function directly to cause weakness. Muscle disease can lead to joint and movement problems, cramps, pain and twitching. Disease of the peripheral nerves can produce numbness, tingling, and pain.
The Neuromuscular Disorders Program at the Neurosciences Institute of George Washington University Hospital is internationally recognized for its expertise in the diagnosis and management of complex muscle diseases. The program specializes in treating peripheral neuropathy, myopathies, Lou Gehrig’s disease (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) and myasthenia gravis.
Advanced diagnostic strategies are critical to plan treatment for neuromuscular disorders. The American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine has awarded our electrodiagnostic laboratory an exemplary status—the only facility in Washington to receive this designation.
Laboratory tests include electromyography (EMG), Single Fiber-EMG, and both advanced and routine nerve conduction studies. Doctors may also perform muscle and skin biopsies to further inform the diagnosis.