Muscular Dystrophy (MD) is a hereditary muscular disease characterized by progressive skeletal muscle weakness and disability. This disorder can be observed mainly in males who inherit the gene carrying the mutation from their mothers.
- Poor balance
- Drooping eyelids
- Progressive muscular wasting
- Inability to walk
- Calf deformation
- Respiratory difficulty
- Limited movement
- Muscle spasms.
These conditions are generally inherited. There are several types of muscular dystrophy:
- Dunchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is most common and severe form of MD which strikes mainly boys. It is a progressive disorder caused by lack of protein dystrophin in muscle cells. It mainly affects the torso and limb muscles and as age progresses, so does the muscle weakening, resulting in confinement to wheelchair by age of 12.
- Facioscapulohumeral (FSH) dystrophy occurs both in males and females, and it affects facial, shoulder and upper arms muscles.
- Myotonic Dystrophy affects various organs as well as muscles. Most common problem faced is delayed relaxation of muscles.
- Becker Muscular dystrophy is a lesser variant of DMD.
- Congenital muscular dystrophy as name suggests at onset of birth, includes general muscle weakness, joint deformities and usually shortens life span.
Since it’s hereditary disease, family having history of muscular dystrophy are usually referred for detailed genetic tests to rule out any gene carrier. Once the symptoms start to show, doctors usually ask for muscle biopsy, electromyography, electrocardiography and DNA analysis. Physiotherapy prevents further weakening of muscles and helps kids to preserve muscle strength and develop muscle tone. Occupational therapy helps in assisting kid taking care of his/hers daily activities. Orthopedic appliances like braces, splints, crutches etc. help retain mobility.