Specialists in Neuromuscular Disorders possess specialized knowledge in the science, clinical evaluation, or clinical management of disorders of anterior horn cell, peripheral nerve, neuromuscular junction, and muscle. This encompasses knowledge of the pathophysiology, pathology, diagnosis, and treatment of these disorders at a level that is significantly beyond the training and knowledge expected of a general neurologist.
The term EMG is often used to refer to both electromyography and nerve conduction studies. Electromyography is the technique of using electrodes to directly investigate the electrical activity of muscle. Nerve conduction studies use small pulses of electricity to measure the conducting properties of the nerves. Together they are used to investigate and diagnose the entire spectrum of neuromuscular diseases, such as ALS, neuropathy, carpal tunnel syndrome, muscular dystrophy, Guillaine-Barre syndrome, myositis, and others. The electomyographers at Yale, led by Dr. Jonathan M. Goldstein, use the latest EMG equipment to perform all available specialized EMG techniques, including Quantitative EMG, Blink Reflex, Single Fiber EMG, and others.
A specialized type of nerve conduction study, called the Jolly test (which includes repetitive nerve stimulation), is also used in the diagnosis of Myasthenia Gravis (MG). There is also a more sophisticated technique, called a single fiber EMG, which is currently the most sensitive test for MG. Yale is one of the few centers in the Northeast with several electromyographers who are expert in this technique.
Besides specializing in electromyography our division treats a broad array of neuromuscular disorders. The following is a short list of some of the disorders treated and managed by our division: