Neuromuscular Disorders Division
The Neuromuscular Division works through the UC Neuromuscular Disorders Program of the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute, in addition to the Cincinnati and Dayton Muscular Dystrophy Association and the ALS Association of Ohio, in coordinating care needs and plans.
Neuromuscular disorders, or disorders of the peripheral nervous system, are some of the most common diseases faced by our aging population. These disorders can encompass everything from the very common low back pain with lumbar nerve root compression (lumbar radiculopathy) to the very specific disorders of muscle strength and deterioration (muscular dystrophy). Neuromuscular disorders deal with motor neurons, nerve roots of the spine, brachial and lumbar plexus, nerve, neuromuscular junction and muscle.
Examples of neuromuscular disorders include:
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
- Spinal muscular atrophy
- Cervical and lumbar radiculopathies
- Acute and chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (AIDP or Guillain-Barre, and CIDP)
- Hereditary neuropathy (Charcot Marie Tooth disease)
- Acquired neuropathies (diabetes, related to toxins and chemotherapy, etc)
- Myasthenia gravis and neuromuscular junction disorders
- Muscular dystrophy
- Metabolic myopathies (mitochondrial disorders, myophosphorylase deficiency)
- Inflammatory myopathies (dermatomyositis, polymyositis, inclusion body myositis)
The goal of treatment is to treat what can be modified, improve symptom control and increase mobility and function. We provide thorough, compassionate care to our patients struggling with these difficult diseases.
The division offers a Neuromuscular Medicine Fellowship
, a one-year ACGME-approved program designed to provide the fellow with expertise in the diagnosis and management of diverse neuromuscular disorders including motor neuron, peripheral nerve, neuromuscular junction, and muscle disorders.
Our physicians work to provide patient-centered, coordinated care. We often incorporate physical therapy (legs and walking), occupational therapy (hands and arms), speech and swallowing therapy and pulmonology to make sure our patients receive the best care possible.
When needed, we help procure the services of surgeons for specific neuromuscular disorders when it is felt to be beneficial. We also are trained in the use of specific immunosuppressants when the process may benefit from turning the immune system down.
Finally, our physicians are trained in and perform electromyograms (EMG), the diagnostic test of choice for delineating neuromuscular disorders. We operate three neurophysiology laboratories for this purpose, one at the UC Health Physicians Office–Clifton, one at the Hoxworth Neurology Clinic and one at the UC Health Physicians Office North in West Chester.
The neuromuscular group, headed by John Quinlan, MD, has recently expanded over the past few years with five adult and one pediatric neuromuscular-fellowship-trained specialists.
This group of physician/investigators has active clinical and research programs in spinal muscular atrophy, muscular dystrophy and myasthenia gravis. The researchers work with other neuroscientists in the UC Academic Health Center, using a well-defined mouse model of muscular dystrophy.