Neuromuscular Center

At the Boston Children’s Hospital Neuromuscular Center, we care for infants, children and teens with neuromuscular disorders.

The neurologists and other specialists in our program are experienced in treating children with muscular dystrophy and other myopathies, neuropathies, motor neuron diseases and neuromuscular junction disorders.

Our depth of experience in neuromuscular disease

Our center, one of the first clinics providing comprehensive care for patients with neuromuscular diseases, was established in 1977. Today, we continue to offer the highest level of diagnostic and treatment services.

The specialists in our center are experienced with all types of neuromuscular diseases, including:

  • all types of muscular dystrophy
  • congenital myopathies
  • glycogen storage diseases and other metabolic myopathies
  • polymyositis and dermatomyositis
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome
  • chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP)
  • Friedreich ataxia
  • traumatic neuropathies, including sports injuries and Erb’s palsies
  • spinal muscular atrophy
  • myasthenia gravis
  • congenital myasthenic syndromes
  • botulism

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Clinic

We offer a clinic specifically for patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) the first Monday of each month. During the clinic, your child will have the chance to see a full range of clinicians in one visit. The clinic is staffed by neuromuscular specialists (two physicians and one nurse practitioner), a pulmonologist, an orthopedic surgeon, a physiatrist, physical therapists, a genetics counselor and a social worker. We also work closely with our cardiology and endocrinology colleagues depending on each patient’s needs.

Our research coordinators are on hand during the clinic to inform families about possible research opportunities. To schedule an appointment for the DMD clinic, call 617-355-8235.

Why choose the Neuromuscular Center?

The specialists in our Neuromuscular Center have years of experience diagnosing and treating all types of neuromuscular diseases. Our team of clinicians includes specialists in neurology, orthopedic surgery, physiatry, pulmonology, physical therapy and genetics, all of whom are experienced in caring for children with neuromuscular disorders. We work together to develop a treatment plan that meets your child’s unique needs and maximizes quality of life.

A unique feature of our clinic is that it brings together the many specialists whose expertise is needed to care for children with neuromuscular disorders. This means your child can see all of their providers at the same time, in the same place.

Our network also includes colleagues in cardiology, nutrition, gastroenterology and other specialties at Boston Children’s who are experienced in caring for children with neuromuscular disorders. So if your child needs to see a doctor or therapist outside our clinic, we can send you to someone who has specialized expertise and who will be sensitive to your child’s unique needs.

We also work with the Augmentative Communication Program, which uses a variety of innovative strategies to help our patients communicate effectively.

The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) has supported our clinic for decades. A representative from the MDA attends most of our weekly clinics to answer questions families may have about MDA services and resources.

Pioneers in neuromuscular research and innovation

In our Neuromuscular Center, we closely tie our clinical care to the latest developments in research. A great deal of this research is going on right here at Boston Children’s.

Many of the genes responsible for muscular dystrophies and other neuromuscular disorders were discovered right here at Boston Children’s. Today, the researchers who made these discoveries are continuing to learn more about these disorders and are working to develop treatments.

We constantly work to improve the care we are able to give our patients through clinical and basic research. Our physicians have strong ties to research laboratories at Boston Children’s that are finding the molecular underpinnings of neuromuscular diseases and developing potential treatments.

Cutting-edge diagnostics

Our center takes advantage of many superb clinical and laboratory resources at Boston Children’s. This increases our diagnostic capabilities to the highest level.

We conduct electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction velocity (NCV) studies at our own EMG laboratory, which is staffed by the neurologists in the Neuromuscular Center.

We also use muscle biopsy to diagnose muscle disease and sometimes nerve damage. The orthopedic surgeon our neuromuscular team performs most of our muscle biopsies and our neuropathology specialists provide us with expert analysis of the tissue from these biopsies.

Genetic testing is another powerful tool we utilize for diagnosing inherited neuromuscular disorders, and our team is experienced in interpreting the results. In most cases, the testing is done right here in the Boston Children’s Genetics Diagnostic Laboratory.