The symptoms caused by neuromuscular diseases can be caused by any number of illnesses. Making an accurate diagnosis is the first step in assembling the most appropriate plan of care for each patient. NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell doctors work with the hospital's expert radiologists and pathologists and order only those tests with the greatest benefit for each patient.

Available tests include:

  • Physical and neurologic examination
  • Blood testing
  • Spinal tap
  • Imaging studies such as magnetic resonance imaging and x-rays; NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell has particularly strong neuro-imaging capabilities
  • Electrodiagnostic studies, including electromyography (which measures the electrical activity in muscles), nerve conduction studies (which measure how well signals travel through nerves), and Q-SWEAT (which measures the ability of autonomic nerves to induce sweating)
  • Skin and/or muscle biopsies


Patients with neuromuscular diseases often benefit from physical and occupational therapy to preserve or regain strength whenever possible and to support their ability to accomplish daily activities. NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell therapists evaluate muscle strength and motor skills, develop an individualized exercise and rehabilitation program for each patient, recommend equipment for the patient's home to ensure safety and mobility, and discuss ways to modify activities, conserve energy, and simplify work. For some patients, this care begins during hospitalization through NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell's renowned Inpatient Rehabilitation Medicine Center on Baker 17.