Neuromuscular Program Contact number | 202-476-2120

The Neuromuscular Program at Children's National specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of children, teens and young adults with neuromuscular disorders. Each year, we care for more than 800 patients from the United States and around the world.

The diagnosis and treatment of children with neuromuscular diseases can be difficult. Children’s multidisciplinary team has the expertise to recognize these conditions in children and ensure a timely, accurate diagnosis. We provide comprehensive clinical evaluations, coordinate diagnostic testing, implement ongoing treatment, and provide genetic counseling where appropriate.

The program includes the Neuromuscular Clinic, the Muscular Dystrophy Association Clinic and the Electromyography (EMG) Laboratory. The program staff includes specialists from neurology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, genetics, pulmonary medicine, physical therapy and social work — all of the necessary specialists, all in one place. We also work together with Children’s Divisions of Orthopedics and Cardiology to provide same day evaluation when needed.

Specialized Care

General concerns that we evaluate include:

  • Delay in acquiring motor skills
  • Joint contractures, changes in joint structures (arthrogryposis)
  • Low muscle tone (hypotonia, "floppy infant")
  • Weakness
  • Recurrent Rhabdomyolisis (a condition affecting muscle cells)

The Neuromuscular Clinic focuses on patients with peripheral neuropathies (nerve disorders), disorders of the nerve-muscle junction, and disorders of muscle. The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Clinic, sponsored by the Muscular Dystrophy Association, addresses 40 disorders, including dystrophies and hereditary neuropathies. The EMG Laboratory performs electrodiagnostic testing, a type of nerve test, to help diagnose these conditions. 

The program coordinates care for patients with the following conditions:

Muscle Disorders

  • Muscular dystrophies such as Duchenne, Becker, Limb-Girdle, congenital MD’s, FSH (Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy or FSHD), and Myotonic Dystrophy
  • Congenital myopathies 
  • Acquired myopathies (polymyositis, dermatomyositis)

Motor Neuron Diseases

  • SMA
  • Juvenile ALS

Neuromuscular Junction Diseases

  • Myasthenia Gravis
  • Congenital Myasthenic Syndromes

Peripheral Nerve Diseases

  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease, Dejerine-Sottas Disease, and Friedreich's Ataxia
  • Acquired neuropathies and polyneuropathies: (GBS, CIDP)

Metabolic Diseases

  • Mitochondrial myopathies, McArdle's Disease, Pompe's Disease, Phosphofructokinase Disease (Tarui's Disease), Carnitine Palmityl Transferase Deficiency

The Neuromuscular Program Team

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Conditions

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