What Are Neuromuscular Disorders?
Neuromuscular disorders is a term which is used to describe different medical conditions which affect or impair the normal functioning of the peripheral nervous system. This system consists of sensory and motor nerves which connect the spinal cord and the brain to the rest of your body.
Neuromuscular disorders are generally categorized as follows;
-Muscular dystrophies; these conditions involve the muscle cells structure.
-Peripheral motor neuron diseases; these involve muscle controlling nerve cells of the legs, neck, arms, and face.
-Motor neuron diseases; these involve the spinal cord nerve cells.
-Neuromuscular junction diseases; these involve the sites where muscles and nerves meet.
-Myopathies; these involve contraction and tone of muscles which control voluntary movements; can include muscle inflammation and other tissues.
-Metabolic diseases of the muscle; these involve errors in the metabolism when it comes to producing energy in the muscle cells.
What Are The Symptoms Of Neuromuscular Conditions?
The symptoms of neuromuscular diseases vary depending on the particular condition; they can be mild, moderate and at times even life-threatening. The symptoms include, but not limited to;
-Muscle weakness which can lead to aches, twitching, and cramps.
-Loss of muscular control.
-Numbness, and tingling sensations.
-Paralysis, and spasticity, among others.
How are Neuromuscular Conditions Diagnosed?
Depending on the particular condition, neuromuscular diseases are normally diagnosed using different types of tests, which may include but not limited to;
-Nerve conduction studies; Used to measure how well the signals travel from the nerves to the muscles.
-Genetic testing; Used to check or confirm gene mutation.
-Blood tests; Used to check for any elevated enzymes.
-EMG (electromyography); Used to examine/record muscle health and electrical activity of the muscles.
-MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging); Used to scan the spinal cord and the brain.
-Lumbar puncture; Used to check the cerebrospinal fluid.
-Muscle biopsy; Used to examine samples of muscle tissues under a microscope.
How Are Neuromuscular Conditions Treated?
Treatment for the neuromuscular disorders generally depends on the patients’ particular diagnosis and needs. The goal of the treatment is to improve the symptoms, lengthen life and increase mobility.