What is Muscular Dystrophy?
Muscular dystrophy is a group of disorders that affect the voluntary muscles in the human body. People experience progressive weakening of skeletal muscle and loss of muscle mass suffering from this disease. The disease is caused due to the interference of abnormal genes in the formation of proteins required for muscle formation.
Also Read: Skeletal muscle
Muscular Dystrophy symptoms
The symptoms of muscular dystrophy generally manifest themselves in children, though certain forms of the disease do not surface till adulthood. The general symptoms include poor balance, inability to jump or run, waddling gait, deformation of the calf, trouble in getting up from lying or sitting positions, inability to learn from others.
Types of Muscular Dystrophy
As mentioned earlier, it is a group of diseases that affect different parts of the body. The major forms of the disease include:
- Duchenne muscular dystrophy- It is the most common form of the disease affecting 1 out of 3,500 male children worldwide. The symptoms of the disease generally occur between the age of 2 and 6. The muscles of the arms, legs, and spine are progressively deformed and in most cases, the patient is wheelchair-bound by the age of 12 and die in their late teens or early twenties.
- Becker muscular dystrophy- It is a less severe form of Duchenne which appears between the ages of 2 and 16. The progression of the disease is slow and people with Becker have a higher chance of survival than those with Duchenne.
- Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy- This form of the disease makes it onset in the teenage years. It begins with the weakening of the hips muscles and slowly moves up to arms, legs, and shoulders. People with this disease have difficulty in walking and are often bound to the wheelchair by the age of 20.
- Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy- In this form, the disease affects the muscles of the face, shoulder blades and upper arms. The onset of the disease is generally in the early teenage years. A person suffering from this form of the disease might have trouble in chewing, closing their eyelids and moving their arms.
- Myotonic muscular dystrophy- It is the most common form of muscular dystrophy during adolescence. It is characterized by the inability to move muscles after a contraction. The muscles in the face and the neck are often the first to be affected.
Muscular Dystrophy Treatment
As of now, there is no precise treatment available in medical science. However, the course of the disease could be slowed down with the help of therapies, high protein diet, and medications. Exercise, yoga and respiratory care are often recommended for slowing down the rate of muscle weakening.
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