Neuro-muscular disease encompasses a variety of ailments and diseases that affect the proper functioning of muscles directly (voluntary muscle pathologies) or indirectly (neuro-muscular junctions or nerve pathologies). These diseases make movement difficult and can lead to muscle atrophy as the muscles eventually waste way. The most well-known neuro-muscular disease is ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), or Lou Gehrig ‘s disease that affects the nerve cells in control of voluntary muscle movement.
Types Of Neuro-muscular Disorders
– ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)
– Muscular dystrophy
– Multiple dystrophy
– Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
– Myasthenia gravis
– Peripheral neuropathy
– Myositis (including dermatomyositis that includes skin rash, and polumyositis)
The nerves that are responsible for voluntary muscle movement and the nerves that communicate sensory information to the brain are affected by neuro-muscular disorders. In a normal body neurons (nerve cells) receive and send electrical impulses between the body and the brain to help control voluntary muscle movement. When these nerve cells become unhealthy and even die, it causes a breakdown in communication between the muscles and the nervous system, resulting in muscle weakness and eventual muscle atrophy. Muscular Dystrophy is categorized as a group of muscular diseases that are characterized by weakness and eventual wasting away of the muscle tissue, including the possible break-down of nerve tissue.
The causes of neuro-muscular disorders include immune systems disorders; spontaneous gene mutation; or can be inherited.
Neuro-muscular Disorder Symptoms
Neuro-muscular disorders result in fatigue and progressive muscle weakness. Some symptoms begin in infancy, others in early childhood and some in adulthood. Symptoms are categorized according to the type of disorder and the areas of body that are affected and may include:
– Muscle weakness leading to cramps, twitching, aches and pains
– Problems with balance or movement
– Tingling, numbness or painful sensations
– Double vision
– Droopy eyelids
– Problems with swallowing
– Breathing problems
Although there are numerous studies and research on new medications and genetic therapies, there is currently no cure for neuro-muscular disorders. Treatment includes addressing symptoms to delay the progression of the disease in order to enhance the patient’s quality of life. This is accomplished by a combination of medication, physical and occupational therapy, and surgery when necessary.
Find out more by visiting Kinésithérapie pédiatrique‘s website.