What is neuromuscular disease (NMD)?

The Beaulieu family story showcases how a neuromuscular disease affects the health of two brothers and how ResMed’s Astral™ life support ventilators are an essential part of their daily routine.

Video player

The Beaulieu family

Other videos

The Beaulieu family

Astral machine life support to treat NMD Video player

Neuromuscular disease (NMD) is a broad term that encompasses many diseases and ailments that impair muscle function, either directly via intrinsic muscle pathology, or indirectly via nerve pathology.

Some NMD patients are characterised by progressive muscular impairment leading to:

  • loss of mobility
  • being wheelchair-bound
  • swallowing difficulties
  • respiratory muscle weakness
  • death from respiratory failure.


Neuromuscular disorders can be divided into rapidly progressive and slowly progressive:

  • Rapidly progressive disorders are characterised by muscle impairment that worsens over months, and results in death within a few years (e.g. amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Duchenne muscular dystrophy [DMD] in teenagers).
  • Variable or slowly progressive disorders are characterised by muscle impairment that worsens over years and only mildly reduces life expectancy (e.g. limb girdle, facioscapulohumeral and myotonic muscular dystrophy).

More NMD

Treating respiratory insufficiency caused by NMD
Treating a patient with respiratory failure caused by NMD can help alleviate some of the symptoms of poor respiration.
Getting the most out of ventilation therapy for NMD patients
How to get the most out of ventilation therapy for NMD patients.
Patient outcomes
Learn the benefits of treating NMD patients with NIV.
By continuing to browse this site, you give consent for cookies to be used. We use cookies to give you the best possible experience on our website. Change settings or learn more. or Learn more

Manage your preferences regarding cookies

A cookie is a small piece of data that a website asks your browser to store on your computer or mobile device. Please choose whether our website may use statistic or / and marketing cookies, as explained below:

Required cookies

These cookies are essential to the functioning of the site.

Analytical cookies

These cookies allow ResMed to analyze the website usage to measure and improve performance.

Marketing cookies

These cookies are used to help better advertise depending on your interests.