Find answers to frequently asked questions regarding neuromuscular disease.
Balance and Neuromuscular Disease
While everyone knows about the “five senses” – sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch – little attention is paid to another of important sense, the sense of balance, unless problems develop. Many of the neuromuscular diseases affect balance.
Chiropractic Care and Neuromuscular Disease
Chiropractic care refers to a form of alternative medicine in which a chiropractor uses mechanical manipulation of the spine and other joints in the body. Chiropracty has been found to be useful in pain reduction for individuals with neuromuscular disease by researchers.
Clinical Trials and Neuromuscular Disease
Clinical trials involve experimental research in order to find more effective treatments and/or cures for disease. By becoming involved in research, whether as a participant, or through fundraising and advocacy, you can help to support ongoing research efforts in neuromuscular disease.
Contractures and Neuromuscular Disease
Contractures occur in the joints of many individuals with neuromuscular disease. These include muscular dystrophy, myopothy, Charcot Marie Tooth, ALS, and Friedrich’s ataxia. Contractures cause deformity in the affected joint, often leading to pain and functional difficulties.
Divisions of the Nervous System
Understanding the divisions of the nervous system can help you improve your understanding of neuromuscular disease. The nervous system can be divided into two broad categories – the central and peripheral nervous systems. Neuromuscular diseases directly affect the peripheral nervous system.
Hammer Toes and Neuromuscular Disease
Technically referred to as hammer toe deformity, hammer toe is caused by contractures in the joints of the toe. Hammertoe is most common in the second toe, but can affect all of the four smaller toes. The affected toe or toes turn under into a claw-like position.
Influenza Season 2014-2015
Influenza, caused by a virus, primarily affects the respiratory system. Influenza is also known as the flu, seasonal flu or respiratory flu. While the flu vaccine will not protect against all cases of influenza, it does provide significant protection.
Kyphosis in Neuromuscular Disease
Kyphosis is a type of abnormal spinal curvature that causes the spine to curve excessively, causing a bowing or rounding. This leads to a posture that appears to be slouching or ‘hunchbacked.’ Curvature in the spine in individuals with neuromuscular disease usually affects the whole spine.
Pes Cavus and Neuromuscular Disease
Pes cavus, also called high foot arch or high instep, refers to an abnormally high arch and shortening in the foot. Pes cavus, caused by muscle imbalance, often occurs in individuals with Charcot Marie Tooth (CMT) and Friedrich’s Ataxia (FA), and less frequently in other neuromuscular diseases.
Pes Planus and Neuromuscular Disease
Pes planus (flat foot, fallen arch) refers to an abnormally flattened arch. When standing, the entire foot will touch the floor. Pes planus is sometimes observed in individuals with Charcot Marie Tooth (CMT) and other neuromuscular diseases, but not as often as pes cavus (high arch) is observed.
Physical Therapy and Neuromuscular Disease
Physical therapy can be useful for many with neuromuscular disease in maintaining physical functioning as much as possible, leading to improved quality of life. Those interested should consult with their physician to determine if physical therapy would be beneficial.
Scoliosis and Neuromuscular Disease
Scoliosis, a sideways curvature of the spine, is a common problem for individuals with neuromuscular disease. Depending on severity, scoliosis can prevent the chest from expanding fully, interfering with the ability to breath. Scoliosis can also cause pain and functional difficulties.
Translational Research and Neuromuscular Disease
Translational research into neuromuscular disease focuses on taking basic research advances and ‘translating’ these results into usable therapies. Researchers are increasingly finding applications for basic research to the diagnosis, progression, and treatment of neuromuscular disease.
What are Ankle Foot Orthosis (AFOs)?
Often called an AFO, the term Ankle Foot Orthosis refers to a brace worn on the leg over the calf and foot. The brace supports the foot and ankle, holding the correct position and preventing foot drop. This type of brace is also sometimes called a foot drop brace.
What are peripheral nerves?
Having a basic understanding of the nerve cells of the peripheral nervous system can improve understanding of neuromuscular disease. While the various neuromuscular diseases differ in their cause and symptoms, each in some way affects the muscles and the nerves of the peripheral nervous system.
What Happens During Polysomnography?
At a sleep laboratory, the electrical output from the brain can be measured during sleep by a special machine called a polysomnograph (PSG). The PSG also measures eye movements, muscle tension, breathing, and heart rate.
What Happens During Sleep?
Sleep is much more than the absence of being awake. Every night during healthy sleep, your brain goes through five stages of sleep. Without enough sleep, your body and brain cannot get the rest needed to maintain health and your quality of life.
What is a 504 Plan?
Schools in the U.S. that receive federal funding must adhere to the provision in Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Section 504 guarantees individuals with disabilities equal access to education as a civil right. Educational plans based on Section 504 are referred to as 504 Plans.
What is a Rare Disease?
Neuromuscular diseases are considered to be rare diseases. What qualifies the various neuromuscular diseases to be considered as rare?
What is an IEP?
Students that qualify for special education must have a formal Individualized Education Program (IEP). The IEP specifies the support that a child with physical and/or cognitive disability needs to succeed in the least restrictive environment.
What is Arthroscopic Surgery?
Arthroscopic surgery uses an arthroscope, a small flexible tool with a video camera and a light, to view the inside of a joint. Arthroscopy may be used for assessment and diagnosis. Other times, physicians use small instruments inserted through additional incisions to perform surgical procedures.
What is Ataxia?
The term ataxia refers to an inability to coordinate voluntary muscular movements involving the head, trunk, and/or limbs, affecting movement and balance and sometimes speech and/or eye movement. The primary symptom of the neuromuscular disease Friedreich’s ataxia is ataxia.
What is Behavioral Sleep Medicine?
Behavioral Sleep Medicine, used in conjunction with appropriate medical interventions, can help individuals with co-occurring neuromuscular disease and sleep disorder to get a better night’s sleep and to function better during the day.
What is Neuromuscular Disease?
The term 'neuromuscular disease' refers to a group of diseases. The common element in neuromuscular disease is that each of these diseases affects the peripheral nervous system. This category covers a wide range of varying diseases however, and these disease vary considerably.
What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapy (OT) is frequently part of the treatment plan for individuals with neuromuscular disease. OT focuses on developing and strengthening the fine motor skills needed to perform many daily tasks.
What is proprioception?
While most student learn about the “five senses” in grade school, fewer students learn about an important sixth sense, proprioception. Proprioception involves the sense of where one’s body is in space, and is closely related to another important but often overlooked sense, one's sense of balance.
What is Range of Motion Therapy?
Range of motion therapy refers to a form of physical therapy designed to stretch muscles, keep joints flexible, decrease pain, and lessen the development of contractures. It may be effective for many individuals with neuromuscular disease, even those who cannot engage in more strenuous activities.
What is the 21st Century Cures Initiative?
21st Century Cures, a new initiative at the U.S. federal level, was formed to find ways to accelerate the discovery and delivery of medical treatments for disease.
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Diseases that cause symptoms by directly affecting the central nervous system, rather than the peripheral nervous system, are not classified as neuromuscular disease. The symptoms of neurological diseases often overlap with other diseases, including neuromuscular disease, making diagnosis difficult.
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