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Home > Events & Health Information > Diseases & Conditions > Brain Conditions > Neuromuscular Disorders (Nerve and Muscle Disorders)

Neuromuscular Disorders (Nerve and Muscle Disorders)

About The Condition   Causes   Signs And Symptoms
Diagnosis And Treatment Options   Tips


What Are Neuromuscular Disorders

Neuromuscular disorders refer to a broad group of diseases that affects the nerves and muscles, leading to muscle weakness which will worsen over time.


Some of the common neuromuscular disorders include Duchenne and Becker Muscular Dystrophy, Spinal Muscular Atrophy and Charcot Marie Tooth which are hereditary as well as Myasthenia Gravis which is not hereditary.


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Causes Of Neuromuscular Disorders

There are various types of neuromuscular disorders and heredity is the main cause for the common types. The other neuromuscular disorders are sporadic (occurs at random or by chance, not hereditary).


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Signs And Symptoms Of Neuromuscular Disorders

The main symptom in neuromuscular disorders is muscle weakness which usually worsens over time. Children may have delayed motor skills, frequent falls or difficulty with running, climbing or jumping. They may also have numbness or pain depending on the type of neuromuscular disorder.


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Diagnosis And Treatment Options For Neuromuscular Disorders

Most of the neuromuscular disorders have no cure. The goal of treatment is to improve the symptoms, increase mobility and lengthen the life of the child.


The diagnosis of any neuromuscular disorder depends on a comprehensive history taking and physical examination. Further tests are done subsequently, which may include blood tests for muscle enzymes, genetic testing, nerve conduction study or muscle biopsy.


Tests on other organ systems such as the heart or lungs may be required if they are associated with the respective types of neuromuscular disorder. For example, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy has heart involvement but not Myasthenia Gravis and Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Thus, heart screening will be performed if a child has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.


The treatment for neuromuscular disorders involves a multidisciplinary team consisting of paediatricians from various specialities such as pulmonary, orthopaedics, gastroenterology and cardiology as well as allied health professionals such as dietitians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, geneticists and medical social workers. We run a monthly neuromuscular clinic that provides comprehensive care for children and adolescents diagnosed with progressive neuromuscular conditions. Our multidisciplinary clinic caters to specific groups such as the independent walkers as well as the wheelchair-dependent patients.


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Tips For Taking Care Of Children With Neuromuscular Disorders

Useful Links

  • Muscular Dystrophy Association (Singapore)

    Muscular Dystrophy Association (Singapore) is a self-help voluntary welfare organisation that is managed by healthcare professionals, volunteers, those with muscular dystrophy and their families.


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Our Team

We have a team of paediatricians specialising in neurology, nurses and allied health staff. We aim to improve the quality of care offered to infant, children and adolescents with acute and chronic neurological disorders affecting the brain, nerves and muscles


Click here to find out more about Division of Paediatric Neurology.


The information provided on this page is meant purely for educational purposes and may not be used as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. You should seek the advice of your doctor or a qualified healthcare provider before starting any treatment or if you have any questions related to your child’s health, physical fitness or medical conditions.