The Penn State Health Approach to Neuromuscular Disorders

View Pediatric Neuromuscular Disorders

Neuromuscular disorders affect the peripheral nervous system, which controls skeletal muscles and the nerves of the brain and spinal cord that send messages back to the brain. Typically, these disorders cause progressive muscle weakness.

At Penn State Health, our experts have decades of experience evaluating and treating neuromuscular disorders. Penn State Health includes the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, the only academic medical center in central Pennsylvania. In partnership with colleagues at Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey Medical Center is a national leader in research and on the leading edge of new treatment options, including clinical trials.

Our team develops a personalized plan to help diagnose and treat your neuromuscular disease. We work with you to improve your quality of life, lessen the effects of your disease, and help you understand all aspects of your disease and what it means to you and your family.

Comprehensive Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosing and treating neuromuscular disorders takes an experienced, multidisciplinary team. Early diagnosis is important to help control the symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.

Symptoms common to neuromuscular disorders include:

  • Chronic aches and pains
  • Difficulty balancing
  • Movement issues
  • Muscle loss
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Numbness
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Trouble breathing
  • Vision problems

To determine the best treatment, properly diagnosing your neuromuscular disorder is important. Our experts will start with a thorough physical exam and medical history. We may also perform additional diagnostic testing, including:

  • Autonomic testing – measures how nerves respond to stimulation
  • Bloodwork
  • Nerve or muscle biopsy – remove a small tissue sample to detect disease
  • Electromyography (EMG) – assesses muscle and motor nerve cell health
  • Nerve conduction velocity (NCV) – electoral test to assess nerve impulses and detect nerve injury

Advanced Treatment Options

Penn State Health is on the leading edge of treatment options and offers clinical trials for many neuromuscular disorders. We believe that advanced research can lead to a better understanding of neuromuscular diseases and a better quality of life for patients.

We are recognized by the ALS Association as a Certified Treatment Center of Excellence and evaluate and treat ALS and related conditions. More than 80 new ALS patients are diagnosed by our experts each year.

Support Groups

Support groups provide an opportunity to share your feelings and connect with other patients and caregivers who are experiencing similar struggles.

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Experts in Care

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Why Choose Penn State Health for Care

The neuromuscular experts at Penn State Health are committed to providing comprehensive, leading-edge diagnostic and treatment options. Although there is no cure for neuromuscular diseases today, our commitment to education and research will help find new medications and treatments to delay disease progression and improve your quality of life.

To learn more about clinical trials available at Penn State Health.

Convenient Locations

Find the care your family needs, close to home, at one of our many locations throughout central Pennsylvania.

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