Neuromuscular Disorders

(Nerve & Muscle Disorders)


Neuromuscular disorders are diseases of the peripheral nerves (nerves in the body, outside the brain and spinal cord), muscles, or neuromuscular junction (area between the peripheral nerve and muscle).  The most common neuromuscular disorder is peripheral neuropathy—damage of the nerves in the feet and hands due to diabetes mellitus, low vitamin B12, a toxin, or some other condition.  Neuromuscular disorders may be genetic, autoimmune, or degenerative.  An example of a genetic neuromuscular disorder is muscular dystrophy.  Autoimmune neuromuscular disorders are those in which the body’s own white blood cells and antibodies inappropriately attack the muscle or nerve.  Examples of autoimmune neuromuscular disorders are:  (1) Guillain-Barré (ghee-ON bar-RAY) syndrome in which antibodies to the covering of peripheral nerves cause weakness in the limbs; (2) myositis in which antibodies to the muscle cause muscle pain and weakness of the neck, upper arms, and thighs; and (3) myasthenia gravis in which antibodies at the neuromuscular junction block communication between the nerve and muscle resulting in weakness that worsens with increased activity.  An example of a degenerative neuromuscular disorder is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig disease) which results in progressive weakness and muscle wasting that is invariably fatal.  Patients of all ages can suffer from a neuromuscular disorder.


Anai C. Hamasaki, MD
Farhat, Husain, MD
Joon-Shik Moon, MD
Calin I Prodan, MD
Divya Singhal, MD

OU Physicians
VAMC, OU Physicians
VAMC, OU Physicians