Neuromuscular Disorders

Progressive or intermittent problems with the nerves or muscles in the trunk and limbs leading to significant weakness may be due to one of many neuromuscular disorders cared for at The University of Chicago Medical Center Neuromuscular Clinic.

Neuromuscular Clinics

We have one of the world’s longest continuously running multidisciplinary amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) clinics. The ALS Clinic is dedicated to providing cutting-edge clinical care and in some cases the opportunity to participate in multicenter clinical trials. The ALS clinic (Director: Raymond Roos MD) is affiliated with the Greater Chicago Chapter of the ALS Association. ALSA is the only natural disease-related group that is wholly dedicated to the fight to cure ALS through research and clinical care.

The University of Chicago Medical Center also offers multidisciplinary care for many other neuromuscular diseases, including spinal muscular atrophy, muscular dystrophies and other myopathies, hereditary and acquired neuropathies, myasthenia and related disorders. The treatment team includes several neurologists with expertise in neuromuscular diseases (Raymond Roos MD, Betty Soliven MD, and Kourosh Rezania MD and an expert in childhood neuromuscular diseases Ewa Chelmicka-Schorr MD), and a nurse. An orthotist, a social worker, an expert on wheelchairs, University of Chicago Medical Center cardiologists, orthopaedic surgeons, pulmonologists, and geneticists also provide consultation for our patients as needed.

Patients with numbness, tingling and weakness involving the feet and hands are evaluated at The Center for Peripheral Neuropathy Clinic (Co-Directors: Raymond Roos MD, and Betty Soliven MD). The neuromuscular experts serve in this clinic, which is part of The Center for Peripheral Neuropathy (Director: Brian Popko PhD). The Center is committed to educating the public and healthcare providers about this disease, providing state-of-the-art care to neuropathy patients, and contri

Appointments can be made by calling:

Laboratory Testing

The University of Chicago EMG Laboratory (Director: Betty Soliven MD) provides an active electrodiagnostic service for approximately 1,400 patients per year. Other EMG attendings include Helene Rubeiz MD, Kourosh Rezania MD and John Jacobsen MD PhD. For appointments call (773) 702-1780. Our neuromuscular pathology service Robert Wollmann MD evaluates muscle and nerve biopsies from our patients and those sent by a large number of hospitals in Illinois and Midwest areas.

Clinical Trials / Studies

The Neuromuscular Group participates in clinical trials/studies (Kourosh Rezania MD, P.I.) involving patients with ALS, neuropathy or myasthenia gravis. Recently completed studies include CoQ in ALS, the role of impaired glucose tolerance in idiopathic neuropathy. There is an ongoing multicenter study on genetics and genetic modifiers in ALS.

Basic Research

Basic research on Neuromuscular Diseases at The University of Chicago includes:

  1. Delineation of viral and non-viral (mutant SOD-1) genes and proteins critical to the death and survival of motor neurons (Raymond Roos MD);
  2. Delineation of genes important for peripheral nerve development and degeneration (Brian Popko PhD);
  3. Pathogenetic mechanisms in inflammatory neuropathies (Betty Soliven MD), and m yasthenia (Betty Soliven MD and Raymond Roos MD);
  4. Congenital myasthenia and channelopathies (Christopher Gomez MD PhD) ; and
  5. Dysferlinopathy and sarcoglycanopathy (Elizabeth McNally MD, Section of Cardiology, Department of Medicine).

Teaching Activities

The neuromuscular educational program consists of:

  1. Lectures on neuromuscular diseases and electromyography;
  2. Monthly Neuromuscular Pathology Conference;
  3. Teaching in the neuromuscular clinics;
  4. Training in the performance of nerve conduction studies and electromyography as well as interpretation of these studies during the rotation in the EMG laboratory;
  5. Annual EMG self assessment examinations; and
  6. Neurobiology of Disease Course.

To apply for neurophysiology fellowship (EMG/Neuromuscular track) visit our Clinical Neurophysiology Fellowship page, contact Betty Soliven MD or our Education Administrator, Marla Scofield.