Patient care for neuromuscular disorders at UNC Medical Center includes a consultation service, a muscle biopsy service and the sub-specialty clinics listed below. The neuromuscular group deals with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the motor neuron, plexus, peripheral nerve, autonomic nervous system, neuromuscular junction and muscle. The program includes some of the nation's most respected neuromuscular experts.
Several sub-specialty clinics exist to address the needs of patients with neuromuscular disease.
The Autonomic Disorders Clinic
The Autonomic Disorders Clinic is unique resource for comprehensive diagnostic evaluation, consultation, treatment and management and care of patients with disorders affecting the autonomic nervous system. These disorders include multiple system atrophy, pure autonomic failure, orthostatic hypotension, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), orthostatic intolerance, fainting, and abnormalities of sweating. Clinical evaluation takes advantage of the techniques available for neuromuscular disorders as well as specialized tests of autonomic function available in the autonomic function laboratory.
The Dystrophinopathy Team
The Dystrophinopathy Team is a multidisciplinary program that works to develop clinical gene therapy trials for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy and to identify surrogate markers that can be used to assess changes in disease severity during these trials.
The Muscular Dystrophy Association Clinic
The Muscular Dystrophy Association Clinic is sponsored by the Muscular Dystrophy Association and meets several times weekly. The clinic provides affected adults and children a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation, consultation, treatment and management. Some of the diseases followed in this clinic include muscular dystrophy in adults and children, inflammatory myopathies (polymyositis, dermatomyositis, inclusion body myositis), metabolic and mitochondrial myopathies, disease of neuromuscular transmission (myasthenia gravis, Lambert-Eaton syndrome), congenital myopathies, hereditary peripheral neuropathies (Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease), and motor neuron disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis [ALS], spinal muscular atrophy [SMA]).
The Myasthenia Gravis Clinic
The Myasthenia Gravis Clinic offers comprehensive diagnostic evaluation, consultation, treatment and management for patients with myasthenia gravis from around the world. The clinic also carries out clinical and laboratory-based research on the causes, diagnosis and treatment of myasthenia gravis.
The Myopathy Clinic
The Myopathy Clinic provides for the comprehensive diagnostic evaluation, consultation, treatment and management of patients with a variety of muscle disorders. Some of the diseases followed in this clinic include muscular dystrophies, metabolic and toxic myopathies and inflammatory myopathies.
The Peripheral Neuropathy Clinic
The Peripheral Neuropathy Clinic provides for the comprehensive diagnostic evaluation, consultation, treatment and management of patients with a variety of peripheral neuropathies. Some of the diseases followed in this clinic include hereditary neuropathies (such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease), diabetic neuropathy, amyloid neuropathy, chronic inflammatory demyelinating neuropathy (CIDP), small fiber sensory neuropathies and vasculitic neuropathies.
The Clinical Neurophysiology Laboratory at UNC Hospitals
The Clinical Neurophysiology (CNP) Laboratory at UNC Hospitals is a multi-disciplinary laboratory providing state of the art expertise in the diagnostic evaluation and physiological characterization of all nervous system disorders. Testing includes autonomic function studies, EMG-NCS (electromyography-nerve conduction studies), neurography, quantitative EMG studies, single fiber EMG and quantitative sensory testing.
The Muscle-Nerve Biopsy Service
The Muscle-Nerve Biopsy Service provides biopsy service for adults and older children on an outpatient basis and is run jointly with the Department of Pathology. Biopsies are performed on a weekly basis, and interpretation and review of biopsy specimens occurs at weekly conferences.