- 18 December 2018
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Neuromuscular Disorders: Types
The nervous system controls your entire body. If your nerves get damaged, the functionality of your body will be hampered. When any damage or degeneration in your nerves affect the functionality of your body muscles, the condition is called neuromuscular disorder.
However, neuromuscular disorder is an umbrella term for different conditions leading to nerve malfunctioning that, in turn, causes muscle dysfunction.
Let’s check out the types.
Types Of Neuromuscular Diseases
ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)
It is a chronic neurological disorder, the effects of which intensifies over time. It affects the neurons that transfer messages from the brain and spinal cord to your hands and legs. So, over the time, you become paralysed. Gradually, you lose the ability to speak and swallow. Eventually, it spreads over your chest and heart muscles as well causing death.
There is no permanent cure for this disease. Medicines can help in slowing down the symptoms but ALS is ultimately fatal.
Muscular dystrophy is a genetic disorder. In this disease, the skeletal muscles become weak. The skeletal muscles are the ones which help in movement and locomotion. This neuromuscular disorder is classified into various subtypes. Some forms of this disease can be diagnosed at the time of birth while for others, the symptoms only surface in later years. Some of these affect only men and while women pass them on to their next generation.
It is often linked with the deficiency of a certain protein that acts as a shock absorber between the muscles and the skeleton and which also controls the calcium levels.
This disorder also affects the skeletal muscles but the effect of this disorder is generally centered around eyes, face, mouth and throat. Hence, it hinders vision, eating, speech activities and facial expression.
Myasthenia gravis is a genetic, autoimmune disease. The symptoms are generally manageable through medicine and rest. But the condition often is not detected at its early stage as the symptoms are similar to the symptoms of other neuromuscular disorders.
Spinal Muscular Atrophy
Spinal Muscular Atrophy is also a genetic disorder. It affects the spinal cord and hence, the voluntary movements of the body. It worsens over time and can become fatal if it affects the muscles associated with breathing.
Medicines can prevent the symptoms from getting worse. Medical assistive devices can help a victim live a better life. Although not very common, it can become fatal, especially without medical assistance. However, there is no complete cure.
Muscular Sclerosis is a dangerous neuromuscular disease which neither has a conclusive diagnostic test nor a complete cure.
It is probably an autoimmune disease where your own body cells attack and destroyed the protective layer of your nerves. This complicates and worsens the communication from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles.
The degree of disability varies from patient to patient. While some may lead a normal life with little medication, some even lose the ability to walk, speak or any other form of movement.
There are many other forms of neuromuscular disorder. But among them, these are the most common. None of these diseases is preventable since all of them are, at least, to some extent genetic. You can only stay aware of their symptoms and potential risks so that you can opt for the correct treatment in the early stages of the diseases.