A new CMT Center of Excellence has been recognzed at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
About the Clinic
The Vanderbilt Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease clinic serves patients with inherited neuropathies from Tennessee and across the Southeast. They offer a multidisciplinary approach that includes clinical neurology, electrodiagnostic testing, genetic counseling, physical therapy and consultation regarding orthopedic surgery. They also have an active research program as well as a basic science laboratory which help advance their mission of better understanding and treating CMT.
The director of the clinic is Jun Li, MD, PhD who has specialized in inherited neuropathies for over ten years. In 2000, Dr. Li joined the faculty at Wayne State University, School of Medicine, as an Assistant Professor of Neurology. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2002 and was recruited to Vanderbilt in 2009. Since 2005, he has been recognized as one of the Best Doctors in America.
What to Expect
The first visit will occur on a Thursday. When you come to the clinic, the CMT specialist will meet with you to learn more about your medical history. You will receive a physical exam as well as one or more of the following tests:
- Nerve conduction study: This measures the speed of electrical signals that travel through nerves. The test feels a bit like the static electricity when you take off a sweater in the winter.
- Hand grip strength: they will measure your grip strength using a hand dynameter. This is a painless test to evaluate hand function and strength.
- CMT Neuropathy/Disability Score: This is a simple questionnaire that assesses your motor and sensory functions for daily living. This score allows the clinic to track changes in your nerve function across time.
- Physical therapy assessment: The physical therapist is available to see patients on Thursday afternoon. The therapist can help with bracing and walking issues.
- Surgery Consultation: If a patient needs to see an orthopedic surgeon, clinic staff will set up an appointment.
- Skin biopsies: A patient may be asked to provide a biopsy (sample of skin). This procedure can be declined after asking questions about its use and pain.
- Blood samples: Many patients choose a genetic test because it is the most certain way of diagnosing CMT. They will draw a blood sample and send it to a lab for the DNA testing. Your blood can be archived in Vanderbilt's lab to help with further treatment and research.
The CMT Clinic is part of the Muscular Dystrophy Association clinic. Each patient will benefit from the coverage that MDA usually offers. Your clinic visit and clinical evaluation will be free. Because they do not want to exclude anyone from their clinic, they will see patients who do not have insurance or whose insurance will not cover the visit. The cost of medical devices (braces, wheelchairs, etc.) will not be covered.
Click here for information on making an appointment.
Other CMTA Centers of Excellence
The CMTA is also currently affiliated with the following CMT Centers of Excellence:
- Wayne State University (Detroit) Dr. Michael Shy
- University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) Dr. Stephen Scherer
- University of Washington (Seattle) Dr. Thomas Bird
- Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore) Dr. Ahmet Hoke
- University of Texas Southwestern (Dallas) Dr. Susan Iannaccone
- University of Rochester (New York) Dr. David Herrmann
- Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (Philadelphia) Dr. Richard Finkel