Neuromuscular Disease is a general term referring to any disease that affects the neurons (nerve cells) and the muscles they control. These diseases can be inherited or acquired and affect both adults and children. The most common neuromuscular disease is multiple sclerosis, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy, and myasthenia gravis.
Neuromuscular diseases affect about one in every 250 people in the U.S., nearly 100,000 people per year are diagnosed with ALS – the vast majority of which are over 40 years of age. Neuromuscular disease is more prevalent in men than women and can affect people of any ethnicity. It disproportionately affects Caucasians, with the average diagnosis occurring between the ages of 55-65. Most treatments for neuromuscular disease in Oxnard focus on delaying the condition’s progression and relieving symptoms.
Below are some neuromuscular conditions you should know about.
According to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, muscular dystrophy is a group of diseases characterized by muscle weakness and progressive muscle degeneration. There are many different types of muscular dystrophy. The most common type of muscular dystrophy in adults is called Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
Neuromuscular Junction Disease
Neuromuscular Junction diseases affect the neuromuscular junction, the place where nerve cells meet muscle cells. The most common of these is Myasthenia Gravis and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). When diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), you have a neuromuscular disease that affects the muscles under voluntary control.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, Myasthenia Gravis is a neuromuscular disease in which the immune system attacks and damages the myoneural junction (the place where nerve and muscle cells connect). Myasthenia gravis occurs when the nerve that stimulates muscle contraction does not function properly.
According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, Dermatomyositis is a connective tissue disease that produces muscle and skin symptoms. The most common features include Muscle weakness usually first noticed in your shoulders, neck, and hips. Proximal (close to the trunk) muscles are often affected first.
There is usually extreme muscle tenderness, especially at night, and severe muscle pain after even minor exertion Muscle changes. As the disease progresses, your muscles become smaller, and weaker skin changes. There may be;
- a reddish-purple rash over the knuckles
- red or purple patches on your shins and forearms
- sores on your face around the corners of your mouth or eyes
Myopathies are diseases that primarily affect the muscles. They may be inherited or acquired and can affect one or many different muscle groups. The most common myopathy is inclusion body myositis (IBM). IBM is a chronic disease that causes progressive muscle weakness and atrophy. There are also inflammatory myopathies, which cause muscle lesions and damage to the tissue around muscles. The most common inflammatory myopathy is polymyositis, but dermatomyositis is another rare but severe type of inflammatory myopathy that can affect many different parts of the body.
In summary, neuromuscular diseases affect the neurons (nerve cells) and the muscles they control. It is a collective term for many different illnesses and conditions. Some of the most common neuromuscular diseases include myopathies, dermatomyositis, myasthenia gravis, neuromuscular junction disease, and muscular dystrophy.