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 specialist service for neuromuscular disorders covering 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 children's neuromuscular service is based in the children's wards and outpatient facilities.

We see patients who have been referred by another professional, such as a GP, rheumatologist or neurologist. You will usually been seen in outpatients to be assessed.

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). Find out more about myositis on the Myositis UK website.
  • Muscular dystrophies and other genetic myopathies. The Muscular Dystrophy UK website has useful factsheets about disorders and topics such as muscle biopsies.
  • Other muscle disorders

Neuromuscular junction disorders

Peripheral nerve disorders

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