Neuromuscular disorders strike 1.5 million Americans annually. Afflicting both young and old – and often those in the prime of life – diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, peripheral neuropathy, myasthenia gravis, and myopathies are debilitating, often progressive, and sometimes fatal. Weakness, paralysis, respiratory distress, and intractable pain caused by a nerve disease dramatically alter quality of life for both patients and families.
Cleveland Clinic's Neuromuscular Center specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and research of these and other neuromuscular disorders. Specialists at the Neuromuscular Center offer comprehensive workups to achieve accurate diagnosis of nerve disease and rely upon state-of-the-art treatment modalities to optimize quality of life. Both inpatients and outpatients benefit from well-orchestrated teamwork by Cleveland Clinic specialists and allied health professionals.
Neurologists, pulmonologists, rheumatologists, pathologists, anesthesiologists, surgeons, and orthopedists join forces with orthotics, physical and occupational therapists, speech pathologists, dieticians, nurse clinicians, and social workers to offer comprehensive, compassionate care for those with neuromuscular disorders.
What We Treat
Diseases and Conditions
Treating neuromuscular diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), peripheral nerve injury, myasthenia gravis and myopathies requires a unique combination of medical expertise and compassion. Specialists in the Neuromuscular Center successfully achieve this blend and strive to apply the latest technology to help patients optimize their quality of life and minimize their disability.
To assist in the accurate diagnosis of these disorders, our specialists rely on diagnostic modalities such as electrodiagnosis (e.g. EMG); autonomic testing; and muscle, nerve and skin biopsies to supplement the history and physical evaluation.
- ALS - The symptoms of ALS, who is affected, how it is treated and the care path for ALS.
- Peripheral Neuropathies - What is peripheral neuropathy? Learn how it is diagnosed and treated in the Neuromuscular Center.
- Myasthenia Gravis - Learn the symptoms and causes and how to diagnosis and treat myasthenia gravis.
- Myopathies - The common myopathies treated in the Neuromuscular Center; learn how they are diagnosed and treated.
Diagnostics and Testing
Minimizing disability and maximizing quality of life depends upon accurate diagnosis and prompt, appropriate treatment of nerve disease and neuromuscular disorders. Yet because symptoms of neuromuscular disorders overlap and mimic those of several diseases, diagnosis can be difficult and often delayed. In addition to a neurological history, examination, and specialized laboratory tests, neuromuscular specialists at Cleveland Clinic rely upon diagnostic investigations such as EMG, the Autonomic Laboratory, Spinal Fluid Analysis, Muscle and Nerve Biopsies and the Peripheral Nerve Injury Program.
- Autonomic Laboratory
- Cutaneous Nerve Laboratory
- EMG Examination
- Skin Biopsy for Small Fiber Sensory Neuropathy
- Spinal Fluid Analysis
- Ultrasound of Peripheral Nerve and Muscle
Make an Appointment
To make an appointment with a Neuromuscular Center staff member please call 216.636.5860 or toll free 866.588.2264.
For our patients’ convenience some services are offered at our Regional Hospitals and Family Health Centers in Northeast Ohio.
Select patients can now see our specialists online from their home or office by using the Cleveland Clinic Express Care® Online tool. This service allows patients a fast, secure and easy way to receive care from their healthcare team in a live virtual visit using a smartphone (iPhone or Android), tablet or computer. Virtual visits cost only $100, and the benefits of choosing this appointment option include no travel or parking, no facility fee, less waiting, significant time savings and the convenience of seeing your physician from wherever you choose.
If you would like to use Express Care Online for your next visit, please call your provider’s office. If you are eligible, our team will schedule your virtual visit and provide details on the cost of your appointment and setup instructions.
If you are a patient and would to make an appointment with Cleveland Clinic's EMG Laboratory, please call 216.636.5860 or toll free, 866.588.2264.
If you are a provider and would like to make an appointment for your patient with Cleveland Clinic's EMG Laboratory, please download our guide below.
Cutaneous Nerve Laboratory
If you are a provider and would like to make an appointment for your patient with Cleveland Clinic’s Cutaneous Nerve Laboratory, please download our guide below.
Please contact our Referring Physician Hotline, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for all your needs, by calling 855.REFER.123 (855.733.3712).
View portions of your medical record, see test results, renew prescriptions, request appointments and more.
Image Copy Request
When requesting a copy of radiology images, please allow a minimum of a 48-hour advance notice for all procedures conducted at any of our imaging centers.
The link below takes you to our secure website where you can request your images electronically.
All CDs will be sent to your home address via UPS.
If you need assistance with the image request process please contact us at 216.444.6651, or toll free 800.223.2273 ext. 46651.
Ohio ALS Registry
Is Lou Gehrig's disease more frequent in Ohio than elsewhere in the US?
The Center for Disease Control and the National ALS Registry have funded a 2-year research program to capture all new cases of ALS occurring in Ohio from Oct. 1, 2016 through Sept. 30, 2018. We want to determine if ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease) is more frequent in Ohio than in other parts of the US. This announcement is to request that every doctor who diagnoses a patient with ALS between these dates register him/her in the Ohio ALS Registry. It is also a request to every patient with ALS or their loved one/caregiver to contact the Ohio ALS Registry to participate in this important research. To be successful we must record every new patient with ALS in Ohio who is diagnosed in this 2-year period.
The study will also look at potential risk factors that may cause ALS by inviting patients with ALS to complete a questionnaire about their exposure to potential environmental triggers, such as industrial pollution, agricultural pesticides and head trauma. We are also recruiting a random sample of the general population in Ohio to compare their exposures with those of patients with ALS.
The Ohio ALS Registry is a collaboration among Cleveland Clinic and many other major medical center in Ohio, and the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire. The Cleveland Clinic study is led by Erik P Pioro, MD, PhD in the Neurological Institute.
If you are interested in hearing more about this research, please contact Tanya Butt at 866.894.8131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Use of 3,4-Diaminopyridine in Lambert Eaton Syndrome
Compassionate use of orphan drug 3,4-Diaminopyridine (DAP) in Treatment of Lambert Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome (LEMS). The purpose of the drug is to decrease the muscle weakness and other symptoms of Lambert Eaton Syndrome.Traditionally patients are treated with immunosuppressive agents such as Prednisone. The general guidelines for the use of this drug include taking the drug by mouth at increasing dosages until a clinical effect is seen. The duration of the use of this drug will depend upon whether you see benefit from it, and whether any side effects from the drug prevent you from wishing to continue. Additional inclusion and exclusion criteria apply.
If you have any questions or would like more information please contact Fran Greenfield, Clinical Research Coordinator at 216.445.1109.
This study is being conducted by Kerry Levin, MD in Cleveland Clinic's Neurological Institute.
Section of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Related Disorders
The mission of the Center for ALS and Related Disorders is to:
- Evaluate and diagnose patients with ALS and other motor neuron diseases (MNDs) in a timely, comprehensive and compassionate fashion.
- Provide excellent and comprehensive clinical care on an ongoing basis to patients with ALS and other MNDs in the multidisciplinary ALS/MND Team Clinic
- Conduct clinical investigations, participate in therapeutic trials and conduct basic research to identify causes and effective treatments of ALS and other MNDs
- Provide ongoing education relevant to ALS and other MNDs to patients and their caregivers, to the multi-disciplinary team, and to health care professionals in the community
ALS Section Creates Solutions to the Challenges of ALS and Other MNDs
Through scientific investigation, specialists in the Section of ALS and Related Disorders continue to probe for the cause of the disease.
Through clinical trials of promising medications, specialists seek potentially effective treatments.
In creating solutions to the many challenges people with ALS face, the ALS Section capitalizes on the interaction and cooperation among the physicians and allied health professionals who are members of the patient’s care-giving team.
ALS Section’s Team of Specialists Offers Comprehensive Care
Although there is no specific treatment for ALS or other MNDs because the cause (or causes) is/are unknown, specialists in the ALS Section are familiar with the disease’s many manifestations. Because the specialists are familiar with both the typical and less typical symptoms, they are adept at distinguishing this disease from similar conditions that can be treated and reversed. Consequently, they are frequently called upon to confirm a diagnosis of ALS and other MNDs. The Section of ALS and Related Disorders specialists diagnose approximately 300 new ALS/MND patients each year from the United States and abroad.
Once the disease is diagnosed, specialists and allied health professionals in the ALS Section offer patients comprehensive treatment in a compassionate setting in the multidisciplinary ALS/MND Team Clinic. Although it is impossible to erase the weakness and progressive muscle paralysis (at present) that accompany ALS and other MNDs, team members strive to maintain, or at times restore, a patient’s muscle function and his or her ability to perform the daily activities of life.
ALS/MND Team Clinic Designated by the ALS Association
Cleveland Clinic’s ALS/MND Team Clinic is one of the first of 34 ALS clinics in the United States to be designated by the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association (ALSA).
ALS/MND Team Clinic Specialists
- Acid Maltase Deficiency Association
- ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) Association
- ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) Association – Northern Ohio Chapter
- ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) Survival Guide
- ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis): World Federation of Neurology (WFN)
- Clinical Trials
- Human Gene Mutation Database (HGMD)