Neuromuscular (WERMANS)

Neuromuscular conditions affect muscle and/or nerves (outside the brain and spinal cord).

The Wessex Regional Muscle and Nerve service (WERMANS) provides a comprehensive specialist service for neuromuscular disorders for the population of Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, West Sussex, Isle of Wight, the Channel Islands and beyond. The adult service is based in the Wessex Neurological Centre at Southampton General Hospital, using the ward and outpatient facilities. The paediatric neuromuscular service is based in the paediatric wards and outpatient facilities.

We see patients following referral from another practitioner, such as a GP, rheumatologist or neurologist. Normally patients are seen in outpatients for assessment.

Not all patients require investigation prior to referral. However the blood tests CK, glucose, B12, protein electrophoresis,and acetylcholine receptor antibodies may be useful in some people. In assessment, patients may be asked details of the onset of the problem and a family history may also help clinical assessment. If other members of the family have a similar disorder then detailed information may be of value. Diagnosis may require clinical examination of nerves and muscles.

Referrals to our service are for many reasons, including advice on diagnosis of a new neuromuscular problem. Some people are living with established neuromuscular disorders and require reassessment, further advice or monitoring.

Conditions seen by our specialists include:

Motor neurone disease

We have a dedicated motor neurone disease care centre.

Muscular disorders

  • Myositis (including inclusion body myositis, dermatomyositis, polymyositis)
  • Muscular dystrophies and other genetic myopathies
  • Other muscle disorders

Neuromuscular junction disorders

Peripheral nerve disorders

  • Charcot Marie Tooth disease
  • Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP)
  • Guillain Barré syndrome
  • Other neuropathies