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Muscular Dystrophy Information

Muscular Dystrophy (MD) is a group of rare diseases. There are thirty types of muscular dystrophy. In some types, muscle problems start when the person is very young. With other types, symptoms of muscular dystrophy start later, sometimes not until the person is a grown-up. The most common types of muscular dystrophy appear to be due to a genetic deficiency of the muscle protein dystrophin. Some forms of muscular dystrophy are seen in infancy or childhood, while others may not appear until middle age or later. Muscular dystrophies are genetic diseases. Forms of muscular dystrophy can be passed on from generation to generation, or they can occur spontaneously in a single individual as the result of a mutation of a particular gene. Muscular dystrophy affects the skeletal or voluntary muscles that control movement in the arms, legs and trunk. It also can affect the heart and other involuntary muscles, such as those in the gut. MD passes from parent to child (genetic) and gets worse over time. Muscular dystrophy is the most well known of hereditary diseases. It is characterized by progressive skeletal muscle weakness, defects in muscle proteins, and the death of muscle cells and tissue. In some forms of muscular dystrophy, cardiac and smooth muscles are affected. The most common form of muscular dystrophy is called Duchenne muscular dystrophy. It usually affects only males.

Muscular dystrophy is a progressive condition that needs life-long management to prevent deformity and complications. Muscular dystrophy weakens muscles over time, so children, teens, and adults who have the disease can gradually lose the ability to do the things most people take for granted, like walking or sitting up. Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a genetic disease which means it is inherited. In about two thirds of duchenne muscular dystrophy cases, an affected male inherits the mutation from a mother who carries one altered copy of the duchenne muscular dystrophy gene. The other one third of cases probably result from new mutations in the gene. Some of the less common types of muscular dystrophy are passed along in the same inheritance pattern that marks Duchenne and Becker's muscular dystrophies. Muscular dystrophy is not contagious, which means you can't catch it from another person. The diagnosis of muscular dystrophy is based the results of a muscle biopsy. In some cases, a DNA blood test may be all that is needed. Muscular dystrophy is usually seen in children before the age of five, with weakness typically affecting the shoulder and pelvic muscle as one of the initial symptoms. There's no cure for muscular dystrophy, but medications and therapy can slow the course of the disease.

Causes of Muscular dystrophy

The common causes and risk factor's of Muscular dystrophy include the following:

  • Muscular dystrophy is caused by gene mutations that are particular to each form of the disease.
  • An X-linked recessive gene.
  • Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy.

Symptoms of Muscular dystrophy

Some sign and symptoms related to Muscular dystrophy are as follows:

  • Weakness.
  • Loss of Function in Muscle Skills.
  • Calf Pain.
  • Limited Range of Movement.
  • Obesity.
  • Hypotonia (low muscle tone).
  • Joint contractures (clubfoot, clawhand, or others).
  • Apparent lack of coordination.

Treatment of Muscular dystrophy

Here is list of the methods for treating Muscular dystrophy:

  • Phenytoin, quinine, and procainamide, for delayed muscle relaxation in muscular dystrophy.
  • Some individuals may benefit from occupational therapy and assistive technology.
  • Prednisone, to improve muscle strength in Duchenne MD.
  • Physical therapy to prevent contractures, orthoses (orthopedic appliances used for support) and corrective orthopedic surgery may be needed to improve the quality of life in some cases.
  • Some patients may need assisted ventilation to treat respiratory muscle weakness and a pacemaker for cardiac abnormalities.


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