Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Clinic

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Lurie Children’s works with the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) in a clinical partnership to improve the care of children living with neuromuscular diseases. MDA helps children who are affected by muscular dystrophyspinal muscular atrophyCharcot-Marie-Tooth disease and other neuromuscular diseases. MDA maintains a network of some 200 specialized clinics. Our affiliation with this nationally recognized organization will allow our patients and families to benefit from MDA’s extensive range of support services and resources, as well as a wide variety of high-quality educational materials.

The Lurie Children's Difference

Our multidisciplinary team is focused on providing family-centered care and offers families the opportunity to see multiple program experts during a single visit to the clinic. Having  multiple experts observe a child’s movement and function during a single visit increases our ability to efficiently recommend and implement therapies, adaptive equipment and treatments to improve their function and well-being.

In our neurodiagnostic laboratory, special focus is given to developing a non-intrusive and child-friendly approach to testing. Testing includes motor and sensory nerve conduction studies, needle electromyography, single fiber electromyography, and quantitative sensory and autonomic testing. Evolving knowledge about neuromuscular disorders requires increasingly modern and sophisticated equipment in order to be effective at identifying specific neuromuscular disorders in children.

What to Expect

During an appointment at our clinic, a child will see knowledgeable healthcare specialists from a variety of disciplines during the same appointment. The clinic is held every Thursday at the main hospital. Visits can last between two to three hours to allow each child time to be seen by all the consultants necessary for their individualized treatment plan. Specialists that are available during clinic include a neurologist, a pulmonologist, a cardiologist, physical and occupational therapists, a metabolic bone health pediatric nurse practitioner, a clinical nutritionist, orthotists, the MDA Healthcare Services Coordinator and a social worker. We can also coordinate appointments with cardiology and other disciplines if necessary.

Our Specialists

MDA Clinic Director Nancy L Kuntz, MD, is Attending Physician, Neurology; Medical Director, Mazza Foundation Neuromuscular Disorders Program; and Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Kuntz is board-certified in Pediatrics, Neurology with special qualifications in Child Neurology, and Neurology with special qualifications in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities.

Vamshi K. Rao, MD, is Attending Physician, Neurology; and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics (Neurology and Epilepsy) at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Rao is board-certified in Pediatrics, Neurology with special qualifications in Child Neurology and Neuromuscular Medicine. 

Meet the MDA team

Make an Appointment

We offer easy online scheduling for your child's neurologic needs. 


The MDA offers a wide variety of educational materials in English and in Spanish, MDA summer camp for kids from 6-18 years with neuromuscular diseases, adaptive equipment loan closet, and financial assistance with repairs or modifications to all types of equipment.

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