Unmet Needs

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Lead Author(s): 

Jonathan S. Kirschner, MD, RMSK
Se Won Lee, MD

Supporting Author(s): 

Sylvia I. Watkins-Castillo, PhD

Patients with neuromuscular diseases are living longer, and one of the key challenges with these often chronic diseases is providing ongoing care. When combined with other disabling musculoskeletal and non-musculoskeletal disorders that occur in this aging population, it becomes harder for individuals to maintain quality of life and independence. Management of nerve and other sources of pain for these patients can be challenging, especially since opiate pain medications are frequently used and often become addictive.1 Better biopsychosocial approaches to pain management need to be developed and implemented.

The increasing demand for care from the aging population with neuromuscular disease and a shortage of trained healthcare providers for these diseases may place an excessive burden on communities. Furthermore, access to comprehensive care will be difficult for individuals with moderate-to-severe neuromuscular disorders requiring a multidisciplinary approach, especially in less populated areas. Controlling costs of medical care without compromising quality is another great unmet need, but not one unique to neuromuscular disease.

  • 1. Sommer C. Peripheral neuropathies: Long-term opioid therapy in neuropathy: benefit or harm? Nat Rev Neurol 2017;13(9);516-17. doi: 10.1038/nrneurol.2017.101.


  • Fourth Edition

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