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Jornal de Pediatria
On-line version ISSN 1678-4782
REED, Umbertina C.. Neuromuscular disorders. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2002, vol.78, suppl.1, pp. S89-S103. ISSN 1678-4782. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0021-75572002000700012.
Objective: to discuss the most important aspects for performing a differential diagnosis among the main neuromuscular disorders in children, that include the diseases affecting the motor unity, i.e. spinal motor neurons, peripheral nerves, neuromuscular junction and muscular fibers. Sources: the review of the clinical aspects that should be considered for a prompt differential diagnosis among several neuromuscular disorders as well as between those and the main causes of secondary muscular hypotonia due to central nervous system or systemic disturbances is based on the clinical experience acquired along the last 12 years in following-up children with Neuromuscular Disorders attended at the outpatient Service of Neuromuscular Disorders at the Hospital das Clínicas da Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo. In addition, it is based on Medline and on the review of the most recent numbers of Neuromuscular Disorders, the official journal of the World Muscle Society. Summary of the findings: most of neuromuscular disorders are genetic conditions in children and the most common of them are X-linked Progressive Muscular Dystrophy of Duchenne, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Congenital Muscular Dystrophy, Myotonic Dystrophy and Congenital Myopathies. Conclusions: due to the phenomenal development in human molecular genetics the pathogenesis of several neuromuscular disorders in children has been clarified over the last decade. Nowadays many new diagnostic methods, including techniques of fetal diagnosis, and a more objective genotype-phenotype correlation as well as classification are available.
Keywords : neuromuscular disorders of children; spinal muscular atrophy; congenital myastenic syndromes; muscular dystrophy; congenital myopathies; metabolic myopathies.