There are more than 600 types of neurologic and neuromuscular diseases that can affect your nervous system. The nervous system includes the brain, spinal cord and nerves that control all the workings of the body. When something goes wrong with a part of your nervous system, you can have trouble moving, speaking, swallowing or breathing. Other problems can develop with your memory, senses or mood. Two such diseases are muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis (MS).
Muscular dystrophy is a group of diseases that cause progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass. In muscular dystrophy, abnormal genes (mutations) interfere with the production of proteins needed to form healthy muscle.
In MS, the immune system attacks the protective sheath (myelin) that covers nerve fibers and causes communication problems between your brain and the rest of your body. Eventually, the disease can cause nerves to deteriorate or become permanently damaged.
On the Mayo Clinic Radio program, Dr. Jennifer Martinez-Thompson, a Mayo Clinic neurologist, discusses treatment options for muscular dystrophy and MS. Also on the program, Dr. Erica Loomis, a Mayo Clinic trauma and critical care surgeon, explains what causes intestinal obstruction and how it’s treated. And Dr. Colin Driscoll, a Mayo Clinic otolaryngologist, tells us about the health consequences of untreated hearing loss.