Neuromuscular diseases include disorders of anterior horn cells, anterior and posterior roots, plexus, peripheral nerves, neuromuscular junctions, and muscles. The lower motor neuron has its soma in the anterior horn of the spinal cord at the corresponding segmental level or in the motor nuclei of the brainstem. Its axon leaves the spinal cord to form the ventral roots, which will join the posterior root to form the cervical/brachial or lumbosacral plexus and eventually the peripheral nerves which reach the neuromuscular junction. Neuromuscular disorders may manifest with motor or sensory signs and symptoms. More often they develop slowly following a predictable rate of worsening. However, some neuromuscular diseases have an acute or subacute onset with rapid progression. Emergency situations can present when respiratory muscles are involved, leading to a respiratory failure. In some of these disorders, autonomic nervous system dysfunction can produce arrhythmia or hemodynamic instability. In certain myopathies the cardiac muscle can also be compromised.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Medicine