Division of Neuromuscular Medicine
NYU Langone Health’s Division of Neuromuscular Medicine provides outstanding patient care for a variety of diseases that affect the peripheral nervous system. The peripheral nervous system is composed of the peripheral nerves, the nerves that are outside of the brain and spinal cord; the neuromuscular junction; and muscles and organs. Neuromuscular disease occurs when there is damage to the nerves, the neuromuscular junction, or muscles.
Our Diagnostic Expertise
Our division has expertise in diagnosing and treating the following types of disorders.
Peripheral Nervous System Diseases
Peripheral nerves transmit signals from the brain and spinal cord to muscles to direct movement and from the body to the spinal cord and brain to perceive sensation and pain; they also control autonomic activities throughout the body, such as sweating, digestion, control of the heartbeat, and other functions. A diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy indicates that there has been damage to peripheral nerves.
There are many causes, including the following:
- mechanical compression, such as carpal tunnel syndrome and pinched nerves in the back, known as radiculopathy
- hereditary diseases such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
- endocrine disorders, such diabetes
- medication, including chemotherapy or antibiotics
- nutrition, such as B12 deficiency
- autoimmune conditions such as Guillain-Barré syndrome, chronic inflammatory demyelinating neuropathy, and celiac disease
- infections, such as HIV or Lyme disease
Physicians in the Division of Neuromuscular Medicine are experts at determining the cause of peripheral neuropathy.
Neuromuscular Junction Diseases
The neuromuscular junction connects nerves to muscles to convey signals for muscle movement. Myasthenia gravis is an example of an autoimmune disease of the neuromuscular junction that causes muscle weakness and one of the many neuromuscular junction diseases that our division treats.
Diseases of muscle are often classified as either muscular dystrophy or myopathy. As with neuropathy, there are many causes of muscle disease, and an individual’s condition may be hereditary, autoimmune, endocrine, or infectious in nature.
Neurologists in our division are experts in providing accurate diagnosis of neuromuscular diseases. We provide the following state-of-the-art diagnostic testing:
- blood testing for hereditary and acquired illnesses
- electromyography and nerve conduction studies
- skin biopsy for evaluation of nerve fibers in the skin
- ultrasonography of nerve and muscle
- MRI studies of the spine
- magnetic resonance neurography to evaluate specific nerves
- spinal fluid analysis
- nerve and muscle biopsy
Our physicians also work closely with specialists in areas such as hematology, endocrinology, rheumatology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, psychiatry, neurosurgery, podiatry, and pain management to provide the patient with an individualized treatment plan.