The Stanford Neuromuscular Disorders Program Research
Epidemiology of Neuropathy
Understanding the epidemiological risk factors associated with neuromuscular diseases is extremely important not only for health policy, but also to enable researchers to understand the basis of these disorders. In our current projects, Stanford researchers are investigating the epidemiological risk factors of peripheral neuropathy in two at-risk populations, one in New Zealand and one in the Bay Area.
Evidence-based Diagnosis and Treatment of Neuromuscular Diseases
Stanford researchers are engaged in research on improving the diagnostic tools and medical therapies used in the management of neuromuscular diseases. Recent and ongoing research include critical evaluation of evidence supporting the use of EMG in the diagnosis of radiculopathies, the available treatments of conditions such as diabetic neuropathy and muscle cramps, and the proper use of plasmapheresis and intravenous immunoglobulin in various neurological diseases. Treatment Trials
One ultimate goal of neuroscience research at Stanford is the translation of research findings into new and more effective clinical interventions to control or cure neuromuscular diseases. An essential part of that translational process is to test potential therapies in controlled clinical trials. Researchers are conducting ongoing clinical trials in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), neuropathies and neuropathic pain.
Our Neuromuscular Program organizes a comprehensive effort to combat and conquer diseases of the peripheral nerves and muscles, including the muscular dystrophies (myotonic, Duchenne, limb girdle, facioscapulohumeral, and congenital muscular dystrophies), motor neuron disorders (ALS and SMA), neuromuscular junction disease (MG, CMS), and peripheral neuropathies (CMT, CIDP). While keeping the patients and families foremost in mind, our research seeks to: define and understand genetic causes; clarify the molecular and cellular consequences of genetic change; determine the multisystemic features that are underappreciated but clinically significant consequence of these diseases; develop and improve methods for managing and treating each disease.
The main areas of interest of the laboratory are muscle stem cell biology (myogenic lineage progression, cell fate determination, asymmetric cell divisions, Notch signaling, Wnt signaling), muscle stem cell aging (epigenetic determinants, local and systemic influences, roles in age-related decline in regeneration and age-related atrophy), muscular dystrophies (disease pathogenesis, biomarkers and non-invasive imaging), tissue engineering (artificial scaffolds, regenerative therapies) and basic muscle cell biology (myogenic differentiation, muscle development). The Rando laboratory is a part of the Glenn Laboratories for the Biology of Aging and the Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine and the Rehab R&D Center of Excellence at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System. The laboratory is associated with the Stanford Center on Longevity (SCL).