Comprehensive care for all neuromuscular diseases
At the Neuromuscular Disorders Program at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, our team of highly trained doctors and specialists take a highly personal approach to care that you might not expect at a major academic medical center. We are sensitive to what you and your family are going through — and will do all we can to help you face the challenges that lie ahead.
Our program provides comprehensive care for the full spectrum of neuromuscular diseases and disorders, including:
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, and similar disorders
- Peripheral neuropathies, including Guillain-Barré syndrome, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, and polyneuropathies associated to other disorders, such as diabetes.
- Myasthenia gravis and other disorders of the neuromuscular junction
- Muscle disorders, including muscular dystrophy, and inflammatory and metabolic myopathies
- Mononeuropathies, such as carpal tunnel syndrome
These conditions are diagnosed using several different methods, including electromyography (EMG), which are outlined below.
A team with specialized expertise
Our commitment to personal care is important to our entire team of expert physicians – they will see you each time you come to our clinic. Our neurologists have not only vast experience in treating neuromuscular disorders and muscle diseases, but also a warm presence that will make you feel right at home.
Our program's small team works together to tend to the needs of you and your family. The first person who sees you during your visits is either our medical assistant or our nurse practitioner, who gets us up to date on your status. If an electromyography test is needed for diagnostic purposes, our technologist shows great care in walking you through what can be an uncomfortable experience. And our clinic nurse can help you with everything from scheduling appointments with other specialties to procuring equipment such as braces, walkers and wheelchairs.
The program that other doctors count on
Primary care physicians and other doctors often look to the Neuromuscular Disorders Program to make or confirm diagnoses. At Tufts Medical Center, we strive to incorporate the latest advances in the diagnosis of neuromuscular disorders. Our neurologists begin this process by reviewing your medical history and discussing your health with you at length. In finalizing a diagnosis, they can employ a variety of techniques, such as:
- Electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies involves stimulating nerves with a small electrical current and inserting a thin needle into the muscle to measure electrical activity and uncover any neuromuscular abnormalities.
- Blood tests involve taking a blood sample from a vein in your arm to help distinguish the type of neuromuscular disorder.
- Lumbar puncture (spinal tap) involves a needle being inserted between two lumbar bones (bones that form the spine) to remove a sample of fluid to help determine the type of neuromuscular disorder.
- Imaging (e.g. magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI) is a scan of the brain and spinal cord to help determine the type of neuromuscular disorder.
- Nerve and/or muscle biopsies involve a small piece of tissue being removed from a specific muscle to help determine the neuromuscular disorder. Sometimes, taking a small piece of skin may be needed.
We strive to offer the latest medications for all neuromuscular disorders. Our neurologists present your options and then work with you to determine the best course of action. The precise nature of your therapy depends on factors such as the disease, its stage of progression and your symptoms. Along the way, we make a special effort to educate family members about your condition so they can help care for you if necessary.
Of course, many neuromuscular diseases lead to, or are related to, other health problems. So we work closely with other Tufts MC specialties, such as, internal medicine
, physical medicine and rehabilitation
, orthopedic surgery
to manage your overall well-being.
At the Neuromuscular Disorders Program, we value the relationship that referring physicians have with their patients. In order to maintain strong lines of communication and promote continuity of care, we will fax you a note summarizing our findings following each patient visit.