Neuromuscular Disease Program
2324 Sacramento Street
San Francisco, California 94115
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California Pacific's Neuromuscular Disease Program provides a wide variety of care options to patients with neuromuscular disorders, caring for patients with muscular dystrophies, inflammatory myopathies, myasthenia gravis, and hereditary nerve conditions. Our top San Francisco Bay Area neurology specialists are available to provide you with personalized care.
The Neuromuscular Disease Program is division of the Forbes Norris MDA/ALS Research Center is best known as a leader in the field of ALS and, one of the largest muscular dystrophy clinics in Northern California, and the largest ALS clinical research center in the United States. The Norris Center has been a leader in clinical research for over 25 years allowing patients direct access to some of the newest treatments available.
Neuromuscular Disease Program Team
The director of California Pacific's Neuromuscular Disease Program, Jonathan Katz, M.D., is a recognized leader in treating neuromuscular diseases. Dr. Katz has published most extensively in the area of inflammatory neuropathies, as well as other conditions. Dr. Katz works collaboratively with Robert Miller, M.D. the chair of neurology at California Pacific Medical Center and the director of the Forbes Norris ALS Center. Dr. Miller is a foremost expert in ALS and other neuromuscular diseases. The professional staff is part of the Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that provides primary, specialty and complex medical care, combining the latest in medical technology with a compassionate touch. Sutter Pacific doctors deliver health care services in San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma and Lake Counties, with additional outreach locations throughout Northern California.
Our multidisciplinary team approach to disease-management is the cornerstone of our service. All physicians are board-certified and the professional team is specially trained in working with persons with chronic neuromuscular conditions. Working together, the Program team provides an integrated continuum of patient care through varied disease stages. The team includes physicians, registered nurses, a social worker, physical therapists, and occupational therapists.
Consultation and Evaluation
The Neuromuscular disease evaluation begins with accurate diagnosis and strategy for disease management. Our goal is to work directly with referring physicians helping form a plan and develop options tailored for each individual case.
Medical History Review
-Nerve Condition Study
Treatment Plan Development
Neuromuscular disorders involve both the nerves and muscles causing muscles to react and move abnormally. These disorders require electrodiagnostic testing to pinpoint the trouble and assist with nerve damage location. In damaged muscle-nerve electrical interactions, an isolating myelin sheath prevents electrical currents from penetrating the nerve membrane between the nodes in the normal nerve. Measuring the electrical activity in muscles and nerves aids in disease detection and determines the extent of muscle or nerve damage. The electrodiagnostic tests include electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies. Although they are different tests, when done together they provide thorough nerve and muscle function analysis. The Program provides expertise in electrodiagnostic testing, which includes electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies (NCS), as well as advanced techniques for studying the neuromuscular junction. These studies are an important adjunct in diagnosis.
Nerve Conduction Study
Nerve conduction studies measure nerve control velocity to determine the transmission effectiveness of an individual nerve's electrical signals. The technologist places small electrodes on the skin over arm and leg muscles being evaluated. A stimulator is used to deliver a minute electrical current to the skin near the nerves being tested, causing the nerves and muscles to produce an electrical signal. During the study, many different motor and sensory nerves are evaluated. The electrical current is very small and does not damage the body in any way. The signals are recorded on a computer interpreted by a physician specially trained in electrodiagnostic medicine.
An Electromyography (EMG) measures the electrical impulses of muscles at rest and during contraction. During the screening, needle electrodes, inserted into the muscle, detect electrical activity and display activity on a graph-displaying video monitor device called an oscilloscope. The technologist works with the patient, recording muscle electrical activity at rest and requesting muscle contractions to measure the muscles response to stimulation.
EMG is used to evaluate persons with symptoms of muscle weakness, involuntary muscle twitching, paralysis and other muscle related symptoms. The EMG aids in diagnosis of medial conditions where the electrical activity of muscles or nerves is abnormal.
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