Neuromuscular Program

The Neuromuscular Program in the Department of Neurology is internationally recognized for its expertise in diseases of the Peripheral Nervous system (PNS). The program is co-directed by Drs. Richard Lewis and Michael Shy. Other members include neurologist Drs. Sindhu Ramchandren and Ximena Arcila and Genetic Counselors Carly Siskin, Shawna Feely and Lindsey Miller. Dr. John Kamholz, participates in the program as a researcher and neurogeneticist. Dr. Lisak also participates in the neuromuscular program with his clinical care of patients with immunologically mediated neuropathies and myasthenia gravis as well as his laboratory research on Schwann cell biology with Dr. Joyce Benjamins and myasthenia gravis with Drs. Samia Ragheb and Richard Lewis on immunology of myasthenia gravis.  Drs. James Selwa and Maher Fakhouri participate in the clinical electromyography laboratory.
 
Hiller ALS Clinic and Research Center
Thanks to the generous support of Mr. Jim Hiller, the recently established Hiller ALS Clinic and Research Center at Wayne State University is developing a new way to understand and treat this devastating brain and spinal cord disorder that is fatal to thousands yearly in the prime of their lives.  Under the direction of Richard A Lewis, MD with scientific direction by Jeffrey Loeb, MD, PhD the Hiller Center is developing an integrated, translational research program that is designed to advance our understanding of the processes that cause motor neurons to degenerate. At the heart of the Hiller ALS Center is our multidisciplinary clinic led by Drs. Lewis, Sindhu Ramchandren and Ximena Arcila-Londono. The clinic also provides the opportunity for all of the patients to participate in clinical and translational research. These include participation in the latest therapeutic trials as well as involvement in unique research studies available only at our Center.

As director of the Hiller Center translational research program, Dr. Loeb is bringing together top scientists and physician scientists to explore new research areas to identify new targets for drug development. Along with Dr. Loeb's NIH funded projects are a number of other research efforts utilizing animal models of ALS.  These efforts are will be expanded to other investigators both here and outside of Wayne State University.  These projects focus on genes that are involved in some of the inherited forms of ALS and other motor neuron diseases.

Wayne State University Inherited Neuropathy (also known as Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease Clinic)

The Wayne State University Inherited Neuropathy Clinic, under the direction of Michael Shy, MD, is now the largest clinic of its kind in the world. The CMT clinic in the Department of Neurology evaluated over 250 patients per year since 1997. Patients travel to the clinic from all over the United States and world. We now follow patients from 47 states, 21 countries and all continents except for Antarctica. The CMT clinic is the primary site in the first multi-center trial performed in North America for CMT.  Richard Lewis, MD is the overall principal investigator of the trial of High Dose Ascorbic Acid Treatment of CMT1A, the most common inherited neuropathy.  Michael Shy, MD is the site PI for Wayne State University. Dr. Shy has been awarded grants from the NIH, MDA and Charcot Marie Tooth Association to build both national and international consortiums to develop outcome measures, natural history studies and therapeutic approaches for inherited neuropathies. Wayne State is the principal site for all of these consortia. The largest of these grants establishes a Rare Disease Clinical Research Center (RDCRC), one of 19 RDCRCs supported by the NIH for all rare medical diseases as part of their Rare Disease Clinical Research Network (RDCRN). Sindhu Ramchandren, MD is spearheading a project to develop optimal quality of life and outcome measures for pediatric patients with CMT. Dr Shy's laboratory is investigating the use of mouse models of inherited neuropathies in NIH and MDA funded projects and the use of skin biopsies in MDA funded projects to investigate mechanisms and develop novel treatments for patients with CMT.

Muscular Dystrophy Clinic
The neuromuscular group also has very active Muscular Dystrophy Association Clinics. Dr. Huiyuan Jiang directs the Pediatric MDA clinic and Drs. Shy and Lewis direct the adult clinics. Drs. Kamholz and Ramchandran and the Genetic Counselors, Shawna Feely, Carly Siskind and Lindsey Miller are also key members of the clinic. Over 40 different disorders of muscle, motor neuron and peripheral nerve are seen in these clinics. New therapeutic options are available including enzyme replacement therapy for Pompe's Disease. We are also pleased that our MDA clinics have been selected as one of six MDA clinics nationwide chosen to develop Transitional Care Programs in which the MDA is working to facilitate the transition of care from pediatrics to adults in their patients who are now living longer than ever before.
 
Inflammatory Neuropathy Center of Excellence
Our group is also a leading center for the investigation and treatment of immune mediated neuropathies. The clinic is one of the first of 6 international groups that have been designated Centers of Excellence in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Inflammatory Neuropathies by the GBS-CIDP Foundation International. Dr. Lewis is director and the Center includes Drs. Lisak and Ramchandren.  The group is also involved in a number of international projects in CIDP, Guillain Barre Syndrome and Multifocal Motor Neuropathy.  Dr. Lewis is leading an international project on developing a registry for these rare immune neuropathies. Drs. Lewis and Sindhu Ramchandran are part of an international team looking at optimizing outcome measures for inflammatory neuropathies.