The Neuromuscular section within the Department of Neurology is dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of patients with disorders of the peripheral nervous system and muscle, including:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA)
  • Myasthenia gravis (MG)
  • The muscular dystrophies (MD)
  • Metabolic myopathies
  • Inflammatory myopathies
  • Skeletal muscle channelopathies
  • Immune mediated polyneuropathies, such as CIDP, and hereditary neuropathies

The Neuromuscular section has expertise in addressing all clinical aspects of this broad range of disease pathophysiology ranging from autoimmune to hereditary, from toxic/metabolic to degenerative. Our ALS and muscular dystrophy multidisciplinary clinics are currently supported by a Clinical Care Center Grant from the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) and have been funded for more than 30 years in recognition of their excellence.


The Neuromuscular clinical effort is primarily focused at UT Southwestern Aston Center, but also supports clinical efforts at William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital and Parkland Hospital. The program serves as a tertiary referral center where patients with rare neuromuscular disorders can receive expert attention from our diverse faculty. The Neuromuscular section is composed of nine faculty members and two advanced nurse practitioners. Our nationally recognized multidisciplinary ALS clinic is staffed by three faculty neurologists, physical therapists, speech therapists, nutritionists, social workers, equipment specialists, respiratory therapists, counselors, research staff and clinic coordinators. This multifaceted team allows us to address the complex and ever-changing needs of our patients throughout the course of disease.

In addition to direct patient management, the Neuromuscular section has expertise in performing many of the specialized tests needed to make an accurate disease diagnosis. The section performs not only standard nerve conduction studies and electromyography, but also has the capability of more specialized testing including single fiber electromyography (SFEMG) and diaphragmatic studies. Live imaging of muscle and peripheral nerve is done with neuromuscular ultrasound. Skin biopsies for determination of intraepidermal nerve fiber density are routinely performed. In collaboration with the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine (IEEM), we can assess muscle energy demands to help diagnosis rare metabolic and mitochondrial myopathies.


The Neuromuscular section is actively involved in advancing translational and clinical research. Participating in clinical trials is an important part of the neuromuscular section mission.

Trials are ongoing or imminent in various neuromuscular disorders including myasthenia gravis, ALS, immune myopathies, inclusion body myopathy, FSH dystrophy, and Pompe disease.

Research Overview Videos

Neuromuscular Research Page


A core mission of the Neuromuscular section is the education of future experts in the field who will provide both excellence in clinical care and academics. The Neuromuscular section hosts rotating UTSW medical students and Neurology residents. The section also educates up to three post-doctoral Neuromuscular fellows each year as well as clinical neurophysiology fellow attendees. One of the first programs to receive subspecialty certification by the ACGME, the UT Southwestern Neuromuscular Medicine fellowship has existed for more than 20 years and has trained many outstanding Neuromuscular physicians that are leading in clinical care and research.

The Neuromuscular faculty also believes strongly in helping our community better understand the nature neuromuscular diseases with most current treatment strategies We partner with patient support groups giving local seminars on a variety of NM disorders including myasthenia graves, FSH, muscular dystrophy, myotonic dystrophy, and ALS. With our pediatric Neuromuscular colleagues, we co-organize the yearly Carrell-Krusen Neuromuscular Symposium, a nationally attended forum for advancing clinical care and research in neuromuscular diseases.

Collaborative Services

No modern medical service functions in isolation. The Neuromuscular section works closely with other divisions on campus to ensure that any of need of the patient can be expertly addressed. Services which we work most closely with include pediatric neuromuscular diseases, neuropathology, neuromuscular pulmonary, neuromuscular cardiology, genetics, and physical medicine.

Section Head

Steven Vernino, M.D., Ph.D.


Electrophysiology Technicians

  • Vivian Gonzalez, RN, CST

Research Coordinators

  • Amy Conger
  • Steve Hopkins, Clinical Research Manager
  • Osniel Gonzalez Ramos, Clinical Research Coordinator
  • Jovana Valdez, Research Study Coordinator

MDA/ALS Multidisciplinary Clinic

The MDA/ALS multidisciplinary clinic at UT Southwestern provides comprehensive care (diagnosis, therapeutics, and research opportunities) for patients with neuromuscular disorders including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), muscular dystrophy, spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), mitochondrial/metabolic myopathy, congenital myopathy, hereditary neuropathy (CMT) among others. Funded by a Care Center Grant from the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the clinic serves patients from a large region encompassing north/west Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. The clinic team is comprised of neuromuscular neurology faculty, physical medicine/rehabilitation faculty, clinic coordinator, research personnel, physical therapy, speech therapy, nutrition, respiratory therapy, social work, counseling, and equipment specialist. This focus of expertise allows patients with complex or rare neuromuscular disorders to receive all aspects of care in one place and with each visit.