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Multi-disciplinary Neuromuscular Clinic

Overview

Overview of Services

Learn More

To schedule an appointment
or learn more, call (608) 260-3425.

Neuromuscular diseases are a complex group of disorders primarily involving the peripheral nervous system.

These can include disorders of the motor neurons such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, peripheral nerves such as Charcot Marie Tooth disease, neuromuscular junction disorders such as myasthenia gravis and disorders of muscle such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Common symptoms can include weakness, numbness or difficulties with walking. 

Dean's Multi-disciplinary Neuromuscular Clinic offers treatment for neuromuscular disorders by a team of health care specialists from different disciplines. We strive to be able to provide this care at the Dean & St. Mary’s Outpatient Clinic in one visit.

This approach allows for improved comprehensive care, convenience for our patients, as well as ease for discussion of patient care amongst treatment team members. The Neuromuscular Clinic is also partnered with the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) to provide care for patients with disorders covered by the MDA.

Covered Disorders

Covered Muscular Dystrophy Association disorders include:

  • Muscular Dystrophy
    • Duchenne muscular dystrophy, Becker muscular dystrophy, congenital muscular dystrophy, limb-girdle, myotonic dystrophy, facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSH), Emery-Dreifuss, etc.
  • Congenital Myopathy
    • Centronuclear myopathy, myotubular myopathy, nemalin myopathy, central core disease, etc.
  • Metabolic Myopathy
    • Glycogen storage myopathy – Acid maltase deficiency/Pomp disease, McArdle disease, etc.
    • Lipid storage myopathy
    • Mitochondrial myopathy
  • Inflammatory Myopathy
    • Polymyositis
    • Dermatomyositis
    • Inclusion body myositis
  • Hereditary Motor and Sensory Neuropathy
    • Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease
  • Myasthenia Gravis and Congenital Myasthenia Gravis
  • Myotonic Dystrophy
    • Myotonic dystrophy type 1
    • Myotonic dystrophy type 2
    • Proximal myotonic dystrophy
  • Friedreich's Ataxia

More information about MDA-covered disorders can be found on the Muscular Dystrophy Association website.

Additional disorders seen in the Neuromuscular Clinic include:

  • Motor Sensory Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome
  • Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyradiculopathy
  • Mononeuritis Multiplex
  • Multi-focal Motor Neuropathy

A Clinic Visit

Receiving Care at Dean

During outpatient visits, patients will initially be evaluated by Drs. Oliver Ni or Michael Snyder. Our neuromuscular specialists are both board certified by the American Board of Neurology and Psychiatry in the subspecialty of neuromuscular medicine. Drs. Ni or Snyder will then coordinate the remainder of the visit with our treatment staff depending on the needs of the patient.

Patients can also potentially work with:

  • Physical Therapists - In the neuromuscular clinic, physical therapists aid patients with difficulties walking from weakness or incoordination. Physical therapists also assist with selecting appropriate supportive devices such as orthotics, ankle foot orthotics, walkers or wheelchairs. Family members and caregivers are also educated about safe transfers of patients at home, home safety as well as referrals to home health.
  • Occupational Therapists - In the neuromuscular clinic, our Occupational Therapist assists in finding ways to accomplish activities of daily living (eating, bathing, dressing, writing, sleeping, etc.), work and leisure by collaborating with the patient on the appropriate use of adaptive equipment, compensatory techniques, home and work modifications, and community resources. Occupational Therapists also use therapeutic exercise, energy conservation techniques and joint protection techniques to maintain functional daily activity.
  • Speech Therapists - In the neuromuscular clinic, speech therapists work with patients who have difficulties swallowing. Patients who have difficulties with speech are also considered for assistive communicative devices.
  • An Adaptive Equipment (Orthotics) Specialist - Our partners from Aljan Orthotics evaluate and treat mobility issues with orthotics.
  • A Genetics Counselor - Genetics counselors educate patients about genetic diseases, potential testing for genetic disorders, risks and benefits of testing, risks of passing diseases to children as well as counseling about future decision making.
  • Nurses
  • Nurse Assistants
  • An MDA Representative

Electromyography (EMG)/nerve conduction studies and muscle/nerve biopsy services are also available if needed.

Same-day and next-day urgent appointments are available for current patients, and referral services are available if needed for pulmonology, cardiology, neuropsychology, psychology, speech therapy and other services.

Muscular Dystrophy Services Available in Partnership with the MDA

Dean’s Muscular Dystrophy Health Care Services Coordinator educates patient on resources available through the MDA organization for 43 different neuromuscular diseases. Free services for eligible participants include:

  • Four clinical appointments per year under the care of Dr. Ni and Dr. Snyder.
  • One physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language therapy and respiratory therapy appointment per year.
  • An annual flu shot.
  • $500 per year toward the repair and modification of wheelchairs, leg braces and communication devices.
  • Other free services to those who are eligible.

Please contact Mary Roe at (608) 222-3269 or mroe@mdausa.org for more information or questions regarding registration with the Muscular Dystrophy Association and how to become involved. More information can also be found on the MDA website.

Trials

We collaborate with Washington University in St. Louis and are involved with the Genetics of Neurologic and Neuromuscular Disorders research study.

We offer diaphragmatic pacing stimulation for patients with ALS who qualify.

Our Staff

Our Physicians

Oliver Ni, MD


Dr. Ni is board certified in Neurology and is a diplomate of American Academy of Neurology and the American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine. Additionally, he is board certified in the subspecialties of neuromuscular diseases and electrodiagnostic medicine.

He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Johns Hopkins University, Medical Doctorate from the University of Florida and a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation at Washington University in Saint Louis. Dr. Ni completed his Neurology residency at the University of Utah Hospital and Clinics and fellowship in neuromuscular diseases including nerve and muscle pathology and clinical neurophysiology from Washington University in Saint Louis.

Dr. Ni is the director of the Neuromuscular Clinic and the nerve and muscle pathology laboratory. He is also the principal investigator at the Dean Foundation for the Northeast ALS Consortium. He has special interest in neuromuscular diseases including neuropathy, myopathy, statin myopathies, muscular dysrophies, hyper-ck-emia, disorders of the neuromuscular junction such as myasthenia gravis, motor neuron disease including ALS/Lou Gehrig’s disease, electromyography, and nerve conduction studies.


View Dr. Ni's full profile
.

Michael Snyder, MD


Dr. Snyder is board certified in Neurology and is a member of the American Academy of Neurology, American Academy of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine, and Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society.

He received his medical degree from the University of Iowa.  Dr. Snyder completed both his Neurology residency and Neuromuscular/EMG at Washington University in St. Louis.

He has special interest in general Neurology, neuromuscular diseases including neuropathies, myopathies, muscular dystrophies, motor neuron disease (Lou Gehrig’s disease), electromyography, and nerve conduction studies.


View Dr. Snyder's full profile.

Our Care Team

Curt Campbell, MPT

Curt received his Master's degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Washington. He has received special training in neurological disorders including Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease and Vestibular (balance) disorders. He has special interests in manual, neurologic and vestibular therapy and is currently seeking certification as an MS Certified Specialist. Curt sees MS clients on-site at the Dean Neurological Institute and Spine Center. Curt provides evaluations for manual and power wheelchairs and other assistive technology. For more information about Dean Physical Therapy, please visit our Physical Therapy section.

Michelle Dahlie, OTR/L

Michelle graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2002 with bachelor’s degrees in Occupational Therapy and Spanish. She has worked in inpatient rehabilitation, nursing homes, alcohol and drug rehab, and outpatient settings. She has experience in both neurological and upper extremity orthopedic conditions. For more information about Dean Occupational Therapy, please visit our Occupational Therapy section.

Doreen Dybevik, RN

Doreen obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from the University of Wisconsin. She’s worked in Dean Clinic Neurology since 1998, and worked with Drs. Ni and Snyder to set up the neuromuscular clinic and muscular dystrophy clinics. Doreen works with patients daily to assess and plan for their needs, find resources and coordinate care. In addition to working closely with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Doreen works closely with the National ALS Association and the Wisconsin Chapter of ALS. Doreen also collaborates with Home Health United and Hospice Care to assist in comprehensive care delivery for Dean’s patients.

Gina Florian, OTR/L

Gina graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2011 with a Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy. She started her practice in acute care rehabilitation, assisting patients with post-surgical needs, traumatic injuries and acute and chronic health conditions. Since changing her practice to the outpatient setting, Gina now works with upper extremity orthopedic and neurological conditions, in addition to assisting with an industrial rehabilitation program at Dean Clinic. She enjoys problem solving with patients in order to increase participation in meaningful daily activities, often using exercise and/or adaptations.

Rebecca Hildebrandt, MDA Representative

Rebecca Hildebrandt is the MDA Representative for our clinic team. She provides patients with free services, resources and education for 43 different neuromuscular diseases. Please contact Rebecca at (262) 432-7992 or rhildebrandt@mdausa.org for more information or questions regarding registration with the Muscular Dystrophy Association and how to become involved.

Julie Lyne, PT

Julie Lyne graduated with a Master's degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has expertise in both orthopedic and neurological outpatient therapy and has been employed at Dean since 2005. Julie strives to provide exceptional patient-centered care for those with neuromuscular disorders by addressing impairments to mobility and comfort through adaptive exercise, positioning, assistive devices and caregiver training. For more information about Dean Physical Therapy, please visit our Physical Therapy section.

Jamie McAndrews, OTR

Jamie graduated from Mount Mary College with a Master’s in Sciences  of Occupational Therapy in 2010. Since graduating she has worked with Dean Clinic and in the nursing home setting. Jamie has experience in both neurological and upper extremity orthopedic conditions. She works to specifically collaborate with each patient to understand what is meaningful and important to them, and educate each patient on adaptive equipment, community resources,  compensatory techniques, therapeutic exercise, and home/ work modifications. 

Angela Pritzl, PT

Angela graduated with her doctorate in physical therapy from Concordia University of Wisconsin. She has interests in both orthopedic and neurological physical therapy. Angela has been employed at Dean Clinic since 2007. She is currently seeking certification to provide evaluations for manual and power wheelchairs, and other assistive technology. For more information about Dean Physical Therapy, please visit our Physical Therapy section.

Melisa Siegler, MS, CGC

Melisa is a board certified Genetic Counselor who received her Masters degree in Medical Genetics from the University of Wisconsin Madison. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Genetics from the University of Wisconsin Madison. Melisa has worked as part of Dean Clinic Genetics since 1998. She has a special interest in neuromuscular / neurogenetic conditions in addition to her background in Maternal Fetal Medicine / fetal anomalies, hearing loss, and hereditary disorders.

Speech Therapist

Our speech therapist evaluates and treats patients with speech and swallowing concerns. For more information about Dean Speech Therapy, please visit our Speech Therapy section.

Aljan Orthotics

Our partners from Aljan Orthotics evaluate and treat mobility issues with orthotics.

Our Location

Location of the Clinic

Dean’s Multi-disciplinary Neuromuscular Clinic is located within the Dean Neurological Institute and Spine Center, on the third floor of the Dean & St. Mary's Outpatient Center. Our clinic is easily accessible, with free valet parking. For a map and driving directions, please visit the Dean & St. Mary's Outpatient Center page.

Neurology

Recommended Health Resources

Our care team recommends the following websites:

Neuromuscular Disease Information

Muscular Dystrophy Association, Overviews of Diagnoses

ALS Association
Includes information on obtaining government benefits

Alsuntangled.com
Informs patients about alternative or off-label treatments for ALS

ALS Consortium - Trials Section
Information about ongoing clinical trials in ALS 

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Muscular dystrophy information page

Gene Reviews
Provides information on genetic or inherited disorders

Genetics Home Reference
Provides information on general genetics and genetically inherited disorders

Support for Patients, Caregivers

ALS-MDA Local Support Group
Support groups are held on the 2nd Tuesday of every month at Dean Clinic from 12:30 to 2:00 pm in Deli Room #2, in the Lower Level of the Dean & St. Mary's Outpatient Center at the Park Street entrance

Muscular Dystrophy Association

MDA Support Network

ALS Association: Wisconsin Chapter
Includes grants that help toward costs associated with transportation, home and vehicle modifications, assistive devices and communication devices

Area Agency on Aging of Dane County
Local help for patients or caretakers over age 60

Veteran’s Administration
Provides an overview of disability benefits

PatientsLikeMe.com
An informative website detailing patient-reported experiences.

Additional Resources

Wheelchair Recycling Program
Their Mobility Store offers low cost, refurbished mobility

Parking Identification Card Application
This Department of Transportation page includes an application for individuals with a permanent disability

Advance Directives Information
This Dean web resource contains Power of Attorney information