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Neuromuscular Disease

Diagnosis | Treatment | Team Care Advantage | Research | For More Information

More than 2 million Americans today suffer from conditions that affect the muscles (myopathy), peripheral nerves (neuropathy) or the communication between nerve and muscles (neuromuscular junction). Perhaps the most commonly recognized of these disorders are peripheral neuropathy and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) but there are many other neuromuscular conditions as well, including Myasthenia Gravis, Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP), Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS), autonomic disorders and muscle diseases such as polymyositis and inclusion body myositis.

Fortunately, many of these diseases are treatable. There are several neuromuscular diseases that may be progressive. The good news is most can be managed to preserve quality of life. At the NorthShore Neurological Institute’s neuromuscular program, we use a team approach to evaluating and treating patients with diseases affecting the nerves and muscles. 

Neuromuscular Disease Diagnosis

Our neuromuscular specialists are dedicated to compassionate and comprehensive care, using the latest technology for diagnosis. We carefully gather patient histories, conduct in-depth physical examinations and perform additional studies that can include blood work, and an electromyography and nerve conduction study (EMG/NCS) for initial functional testing of nerves and muscles. We also uniquely offer specialized nerve function testing, including single fiber EMG and autonomic function testing. Additional testing with skin, nerve and/or muscle biopsies may also be performed.

Information obtained from these tests leads to accurate neuromuscular disease diagnosis and prognosis reporting, resulting eventually in the development of a personalized treatment plan.

Neuromuscular Disease Treatment

Our Neurological Institute experts work with skill, care and compassion to determine the underlying cause of a patient’s condition—and to help alleviate neuromuscular symptoms by using the broadest range of medications and therapies available.

At the cutting edge of drug development, we constantly keep abreast of the most advanced therapeutic treatment options to restore a patient’s quality of life and at times reverse or cure the underlying disease.

Team Care Advantage

The best treatment plans often depend on balance: a careful combination of medications, physical therapy and sometimes surgery. That’s why neurologists, neurosurgeons and physiatrists at the Neurological Institute work in close collaboration to ensure a measured and judicious approach.

Our physiatry team provides physical medicine and rehabilitation services such as speech or swallow therapies designed to maximize function and help patients overcome their disabilities and get back to their daily life. Our experts also work with colleagues in nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, orthotics and other related disciplines.

NorthShore’s neuromuscular specialists are based at Evanston and Glenbrook Hospitals, with patients also seen at our Medical Group office in Lincolnshire. The neuromuscular team gets together regularly for a nerve and muscle pathology conference to discuss specific cases. This affords patients the benefit of added expertise—and multiple opinions—for the best possible treatment plans and outcomes.

For patients faced with the progressive threat of ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease), we have the distinction of offering the only multidisciplinary full-service ALS clinic outside of Chicago. Our specialists focus on symptomatic management. They work in tandem with speech, physical and occupational therapists; pulmonologists; nurses and social workers to help patients and their families with this severe condition.

Research Means Patients Have Options

In addition to treatment and diagnosis, the Neurological Institute is committed to research. It’s one of the best ways we can continue to discover increasingly better treatment options for our patients.

Our neuromuscular specialists have been involved in promising drug and other research studies and continually look for collaborative research opportunities to advance knowledge and patient care.

For More Information

Please call 877.570.7020 for more information on neuromuscular disease symptoms and treatment or to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.