Neurology Consulting, Inc.
Peter-Brian Andersson, MD, PhD
Neurology located in Tarzana, CA & Thousand Oaks, CA
Neuromuscular disorders like neck pain, back pain, sciatica, cervical and lumbar radiculopathy, neuropathy and muscular dystrophy can be challenging to live with and often worsen over time. If you're trying to cope with a neuromuscular disorder or worry that you have the symptoms of one, Peter-Brian Andersson, MD, PhD, at Neurology Consulting, Inc. can help. At his offices in Tarzana and Thousand Oaks, California, Dr. Andersson provides the most effective, up-to-date treatments for neuromuscular disorders that help optimize your quality of life. Call to schedule a consultation or book your appointment online.
Neuromuscular Disorders Q & A
What are neuromuscular disorders?
Neuromuscular disorders are diseases that cause a breakdown in communication between your spinal cord, peripheral nerves, and voluntary muscles.
Voluntary muscles are those you have conscious control over, like your arms and legs, rather than the involuntary muscles that you don't consciously control, like those in your heart and digestive system.
In a healthy body, your nerves carry messages from your brain to your spinal cord then through peripheral nerves to the muscles to tell them when and how to move. Nerve cells (neurons) use electricity and signalling chemicals to transmit and receive messages.
If the neurons are affected by a neuromuscular disorder, they weaken and die, so your muscles don't get the message to move. The result is a decline in muscle strength and wasting of muscles, known as atrophy.
What kinds of neuromuscular disorders are there?
There are many different neuromuscular disorders. The more common include:
- Cervical and lumbar radiculopathy
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Muscular dystrophy
- Myasthenia gravis
- Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
- Myopathy including polymyositis and dermatomyositis
- Spinal muscular atrophy
- Brachial and lumbar plexopathy
Within conditions like peripheral neuropathy and muscular dystrophy and radiculopathy, there can be numerous individual disorders.
What are the symptoms of neuromuscular disorders?
The symptoms you experience can vary depending on which type of neuromuscular disorder you have. The commonest symptoms are weakness, numbness, tingling, and pain. Other possible symptoms include:
- Muscle loss
- Difficulty moving
- Problems balancing
- Drooping eyelids
- Double vision
- Difficulty swallowing
- Trouble breathing
Neuromuscular disorders have multiple different causes. These include inherited conditions, those which develop because of an autoimmune disorder, medication related, and degenerative conditions.
Dr. Andersson runs a series of diagnostic tests including nerve conduction testing and electromyography to determine the cause of your symptoms and then implements a treatment plan.
How are neuromuscular disorders treated?
There's currently no cure for neuromuscular disorders, but Dr. Andersson's specialist knowledge and extensive experience in treating these conditions gives you the best hope of managing your symptoms successfully.
Most patients benefit from having a combination of treatments that could include:
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Surgery when necessary
The aim of treatment is to delay the progression of your neuromuscular disorder and optimize your quality of life.
Dr. Andersson is also involved with clinical trials looking at potential new treatments like genetic therapies. You might be a suitable candidate to participate in a trial, which could give you access to new medications before they're made openly available.
To find out more, call Neurology Consulting, Inc. today or book an appointment online.