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Neuromuscular Program

At the Pediatric Neuromuscular Program, our team specializes in diagnosis and treatment of disorders affecting the peripheral nerves and muscles, as well as research to improve care and seek cures. These conditions include the muscular dystrophies, a group of about 40 inherited disorders that cause the muscles to weaken and degenerate over time, and genetic disorders of the peripheral nerves, known collectively as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy has named our clinic a certified Duchenne care center, a designation recognizing comprehensive high-quality care for Duchenne, the most common type of muscular dystrophy.

UCSF's program, sponsored by the Muscular Dystrophy Association, offers pediatric patients and their families access to doctors, nurses and therapists who specialize in treating children. Our team includes specialists in pediatric neuromuscular care, orthopedic surgery, pulmonology, cardiology, orthotics, respiratory medicine, and physical and occupational therapy. Together, we address all aspects of your child's care in one place.

Although there is no cure for these neuromuscular diseases, new therapies are available to better manage the conditions and their complications. We work to develop an individualized treatment plan for each child that will maximize mobility, comfort and quality of life. Treatments may include physical therapy, orthopedic surgery and medications, as well as orthotics or other devices to support movement and stability.

In addition, we offer the most advanced diagnostic tests, such electromyography and nerve conduction velocity tests, which help us assess muscle and nerve health. Our patients and their families also benefit from genetic testing and counseling, which can help diagnose neuromuscular conditions and indicate whether someone carries a gene that causes a particular disorder.

A muscular dystrophy fund is available for some families with limited means and for those who don’t have insurance that covers their children's health care. For more information, please speak with someone at the clinic.

Our locations (2)

    Awards & recognition

    • Ranked among the nation's best in 10 specialties

    • One of the nation's best in neurology & neurosurgery

    • in NIH funding among U.S. neurology programs

    Plan your visit

    Preparing for your appointment

    What to Bring

    • Photo I.D.
    • Health insurance card
    • Insurance authorization, if required
    • Doctor's referral, if required
    • Recent test results related to your child's condition
    • List of medications, including dosages, plus any your child is allergic to
    • List of questions you may have
    • Device or paper for taking notes

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    Your Stay

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    Your Child's Care Team

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    Interpreter Services & Communication Assistance

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    Support services

    Child Life Services

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    Child Life

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    Art Therapy

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    Music Therapy Program

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    Individual Playtime & Instruction

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    Interpreter Services & Communication Assistance

    Interpreter services in many languages and TDDs are available for families that need help communicating with care teams. Here's how to access them.

    Family Resource Center

    We help families cope with the challenges of childhood illness and hospitalization in a relaxing environment where parents can get a much-needed break.


    Parent Support Program

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    International Services

    If you're coming to UCSF from outside the U.S., we coordinate your child's appointments and provide other helpful services. Here's how to get started.

    Fetal surgery firsts

    The first open fetal surgery in the world was performed at UCSF in the early 1980s.