Neuromuscular disorders affect the nerves that control voluntary muscles. Nerve cells, also called neurons, send the messages that control these muscles. When the neurons become unhealthy or die, communication between the nervous system and muscles breaks down. As a result, the muscles weaken and waste away. The weakness can lead to twitching, cramps, aches and pains, and joint and movement problems. Sometimes it also affects heart function and the ability to breathe.
Allegheny Health Network specialists treat a full spectrum of neuromuscular conditions, including:
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also called Lou Gehrig's disease
- Primary lateral sclerosis (PLS)
- Acute polyneuropathy (Guillain-Barré syndrome)
- Myasthenia gravis
- Lambert-Eaton syndrome
- Inflammatory myopathy (polymyositis, dermatomyositis, inclusion body myopathy)
- Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease and other congenital and hereditary diseases of the nerve, neuromuscular junction and muscle
- Toxic muscle disease (from medications)
- Diabetic peripheral neuropathy
- Peripheral neuropathy from nutritional deficiency (vitamin deficiencies)
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Cervical and lumbar radiculopathy
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome
Learn more about Neuromuscular Diseases in our Health Library.