(sponsored by the Muscular Dystrophy Association)
The Neuromuscular Diseases clinic at Georgetown University (MDA) offers an interdisciplinary team approach toward initial diagnosis and follow-up care for individuals suspected of having any of the 43 neuromuscular disorders covered by the MDA.
Types of Neuromuscular Diseases
Diseases included in the service program are:
- Muscular dystrophies
- Motor neuron diseases (including ALS)
- Inflammatory myopathies
- Diseases of the neuromuscular junction (such as myasthenia gravis)
- Myopathies due to endocrine abnormalities
- Diseases of the peripheral nerve
- Metabolic disease of muscle and other myopathies
For a complete list of covered diseases, please visit the MDA website or call the local chapter of the MDA at 1-800-572-1717.
Managing Neuromuscular Disease
Dr. Michael Sirdofsky, MDA clinic director and neuromuscular specialist, will help families obtain a diagnosis and recommend measures to manage neuromuscular disease. MDA clinic follow-up care ranges from management of symptoms to medical intervention designed to assist individuals in maintaining the highest possible quality of life.
Learn more about diagnosis by visiting our Neuromuscular disorders page.
Neuromuscular Disorders treatment
Upon diagnosis, the MDA clinic team may recommend a number of services to manage neuromuscular disorders using medication. These will probably include:
- Follow-up visits are usually scheduled bi-annually, but at certain stages in the progression of the disorder, checkups that are more frequent may be indicated. Follow-up care offered at the Georgetown MDA clinic include: neurology follow-up, genetic counseling, physical therapy, pulmonary evaluations and follow-up (as appropriate), speech language pathology (as appropriate), social services, and durable medical equipment advice and evaluations.
- Physical therapy: Physical therapy can neither arrest the disease process nor restore affected muscle tissue. It may help keep still healthy muscles functioning and may delay the onset of contractures.
- Occupational therapy: Occupational therapy enables people to make maximum use of their physical capabilities by being instructed in the use of specially designed implements and daily living aids in their home and work environments.
- Pulmonology: Within clinic, a pulmonologist will see patients with respiratory concerns to assess involvement of respiratory muscles, lung capacity, and use of equipment.
- Speech therapy: Within clinic, patients with speech difficulties because of neuromuscular disease (especially ALS) will have the opportunity to meet with a speech language pathologist to discuss the need for a communication device and/or modifications to meals.
- Social Services: Within the clinic, a licensed clinical social worker or MDA health care service coordinator is available to discuss insurance concerns, assist families seeking direction in identifying alternative sources of payment for medical services, connect families with local services.
- Cooperation with Personal Physician: A summary report may be made available upon request to the person’s personal physician after the initial clinic examination and after each re-evaluation. In addition, clinic directors may advise personal physicians on problems related to specific conditions.
- Genetic Counseling: We provide genetic counseling to families of those who have any of the inherited neuromuscular diseases. The genetic counselor can assist the family in obtaining and interpreting genetic (DNA) tests.