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Neuromuscular disease

Neuromuscular disease covers a range of conditions affecting muscles functions. These conditions result from a breakdown of the connection between the nerve cells (neurons) and the body’s muscles. When the muscles don’t get the information they need to move, they weaken and become diminished.

Muscle weakness caused by neuromuscular disease can lead to twitching, cramps, aches and pains, and joint and movement problems. In some cases, heart function and the ability to breathe can be impacted as well.

What you should know about neuromuscular disease

  • Neuromuscular disease includes:
    • Peripheral neuropathy, which is weakness, numbness and pain in the hands or feet
    • Muscular dystrophy, which is a type of muscle disease that breaks down and weakens muscles over time
    • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, which is a rapidly progressive neurological disease that attacks the nerve cells responsible for controlling voluntary muscles
    • Myasthenia gravis, which causes weakness and fatigue in voluntary muscles
    • Myopathy, which causes a loss of muscle strength because of dysfunction of the muscle fibers
  • Many neuromuscular diseases are genetic, which means they run in families. Sometimes they are caused by an immune system disorder.
  • The goal of neuromuscular disease treatment is to improve symptoms, increase mobility and lengthen life.

Why choose Geisinger for your neuromuscular disease care?

  • Our neuromuscular disease specialists have the experience to diagnose neuromuscular conditions early on, which is vitally important to identifying and employing the proper treatment options.
  • Our electrophysiology laboratory is used to diagnose and track the progression of neuromuscular diseases as well as:
    • Compressed nerves such as carpal tunnel syndrome
    • Weakness or fatigue with no known cause
    • Nerve injury
    • Radiculopathy, or pinched nerve in the spine
    • Myopathies, or diseases that cause skeletal or voluntary muscles to become weak or wasted
    • Involuntary muscle twitching
    • Loss of strength and/or sensation
    • Imbalance
  • Our neurologists are fellowship trained (having completed advanced training), and we are recognized as a Muscular Dystrophy Association and an ALS Association clinical site for approved care and research trials.
  • Our specialists can help you manage your condition and improve the quality of your life. Our clinics offer physical and occupational therapy, nutrition counseling, social work, respiratory care, emotional support and other essential services.

Treatment options

Our neurologists specialize in accurately diagnosing a range of neuromuscular diseases. Treatment options vary but may include:

  • Medication
  • Therapy
  • Rehabilitation

Specialties and institutes

Connect with other specialties at Geisinger to learn more about these treatments.

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