Muscle Disease Treated by Board Certified Specialists

Neurosurgery at Mercy Baltimore

The Neurology Center at Mercy in Baltimore, Maryland, specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders, including neuromuscular disease, a broad group of conditions that affect the muscles. Dr. Bonnie Gerecke is Board Certified in Neurology and Neuromuscular Medicine and provides comprehensive care and treatment in a comforting, friendly setting. 

About the Condition

Muscle disease is a phrase used interchangeably with neuromuscular condition or neuromuscular disorder to define an extensive group of conditions that influence the muscles in the arms and legs, and other muscles throughout the body, or the nerves that manage the muscles. Muscle disease is usually progressive and ultimately causes the muscles to weaken. The degree of severity of the condition varies from individual to individual. Some are inherited and others are due to an immune disorder. Examples of neuromuscular disorders include:

What causes Muscle Disease/Neuromuscular Disease?

Muscle disease or neuromuscular disease influences the nerves, also called neurons that manage the voluntary muscles. The voluntary muscles control the arms and legs. The nerve cells are responsible for communicating to these muscles. When the nerve cells become damaged or die, the communication breaks down between the nervous system and muscles. This causes the muscles to weaken and wither away.  Neuromuscular disease impacts:

  • Peripheral motor nerves – found in the arms, legs, neck and face
  • Neuromuscular junction - where the nerves and muscles meet
  • Muscles controlling nerve cells in the spinal cord
NEXT: Symptoms & Diagnostic Process ›
Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

Muscle Disease/Neuromuscular Disease symptoms:

  • Weakness
  • Twitching
  • Cramps
  • Aches and pains
  • Limb pain

To diagnose muscle disease or neuromuscular disease, your primary care doctor will refer you to a neurologist, who specializes in nerve disorders. The neurologist will conduct a comprehensive exam and require a number of diagnostic tests, including an EMG (Electromyography) to assess the health of muscles and the nerve cells.

NEXT: Treatment Options ›
Treatment Options

Although there is no cure for neuromuscular disease, the overall strategy is focused on treating and managing symptoms and decreasing the progression of the disease.