The term “neuromuscular condition” encompasses many genetic or acquired conditions/diseases that impair the functioning of the muscles and/or their direct nervous system control. These conditions primarily result in muscle wastage and living with the progressive decline in strength is a constant challenge for our members and their loved ones. The conditions we cover are incurable and there are limited treatments available.
Symptoms include muscle weakness, pain and fatigue, and sometimes rigidity, loss of muscular control and myoclonus (twitching or spasming). The impact of these symptoms means that things like lifting the kettle to make a cup of tea, carrying shopping bags, walking and driving become increasingly hard. Over time, serious complications in the areas of speaking, swallowing, breathing and heart function may be experienced.
The age that symptoms appear varies for each condition. For some, symptoms are noticed in infancy, for others not until much later in life. The outcomes of living with a neuromuscular condition can include less choice in the areas of education and career opportunities, as well as less time overall in the workforce. As symptoms progress independence is lost and in some instances, life expectancy is shortened.
The Muscular Dystrophy Association covers around 60 neuromuscular conditions and can provide you with information and support. To find out more about a condition, select from the A-Z list.