Multifocal Motor Neuropathy

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What is multifocal motor neuropathy?

Multifocal motor neuropathy is a progressive muscle disorder characterized by weakness in the hands, with differences from one side of the body to the other in the specific muscles involved. It affects men much more than women. Symptoms also include:

  • Muscle wasting
  • Cramping
  • Involuntary contractions or twitching of the leg muscles

The disorder is sometimes mistaken for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. But unlike ALS, multifocal motor neuropathy is treatable. An early and accurate diagnosis allows individuals to recover quickly.

Treatment for multifocal motor neuropathy varies. Some people experience only mild symptoms and do not require treatment. For others, treatment generally consists of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) or immunosuppressive therapy with cyclophosphamide.

Improvement in muscle strength usually begins within three to six weeks after treatment is started. Most who receive treatment early experience little, if any, disability. However, there is evidence of slow progression over many years.

Learn About Clinical Trials
Clinical trials are studies that allow us to learn more about disorders and improve care. They can help connect patients with new and upcoming treatment options.

How can I or my loved one help improve care for people with multifocal motor neuropathy?

Consider participating in a clinical trial so clinicians and scientists can learn more about multifocal motor neuropathy and related disorders. Clinical research uses human volunteers to help researchers learn more about a disorder and perhaps find better ways to safely detect, treat, or prevent disease.

All types of volunteers are needed—those who are healthy or may have an illness or disease—of all different ages, sexes, races, and ethnicities to ensure that study results apply to as many people as possible, and that treatments will be safe and effective for everyone who will use them.

For information about participating in clinical research visit NIH Clinical Research Trials and You. Learn about clinical trials currently looking for people with multifocal motor neuropathy at

Where can I find more information about multifocal motor neuropathy?

The following organization may have resources to help:

American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA)

Order publications from the NINDS Catalog
The NINDS Publication Catalog offers printed materials on neurological disorders for patients, health professionals, and the general public. All materials are free of charge, and a downloadable PDF version is also available for most publications.