Muscular Dystrophy

Also called: MD

Muscular dystrophy (MD) is a group of more than 30 inherited diseases. They all cause muscle weakness and muscle loss. Some forms of MD appear in infancy or childhood. Others may not appear until middle age or later. The different types can vary in whom they affect, which muscles they affect, and what the symptoms are. All forms of MD grow worse as the person's muscles get weaker. Most people with MD eventually lose the ability to walk.

There is no cure for muscular dystrophy. Treatments can help with the symptoms and prevent complications. They include physical and speech therapy, orthopedic devices, surgery, and medications. Some people with MD have mild cases that worsen slowly. Others cases are disabling and severe.

NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Symptoms of Muscular Dystrophy

The following features are indicative of Muscular Dystrophy:
  • progressive muscle weakness
  • muscle loss
  • frequent falls
  • difficulty getting up from a lying or sitting position
  • trouble running and jumping
  • waddling gait
  • walking on the toes
  • large calf muscles
  • muscle pain and stiffness
  • learning disabilities
It is possible that Muscular Dystrophy shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Muscular Dystrophy

The following are the most common causes of Muscular Dystrophy:
  • genetic mutation
  • hereditary occurrence

Risk Factors for Muscular Dystrophy

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Muscular Dystrophy:
  • family history
  • young boys

Prevention of Muscular Dystrophy

No, it is not possible to prevent Muscular Dystrophy.
  • genetic factor

Occurrence of Muscular Dystrophy

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Muscular Dystrophy cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Common between 1 - 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Muscular Dystrophy can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Muscular Dystrophy can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Muscular Dystrophy

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Muscular Dystrophy:
  • Enzyme tests: To detect the damaged muscles release enzymes
  • Electromyography: To measure the electrical activity and confirm the muscle disease
  • Genetic testing: To determine the gene mutations that cause different types of muscular dystrophy
  • Muscle biopsy: To distinguish muscular dystrophies from other muscle diseases
  • Heart-monitoring tests: To evaluate the heart function
  • Lung-monitoring tests: To assess the lung function

Doctor for Diagnosis of Muscular Dystrophy

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Muscular Dystrophy:
  • Orthopedists
  • Physical and occupational therapists
  • Cardiologists
  • Dieticians
  • Genetic counselors
  • Neurologists
  • Nurse case managers
  • Social workers
  • Speech pathologists

Complications of Muscular Dystrophy if untreated

Yes, Muscular Dystrophy causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Muscular Dystrophy is left untreated:
  • inability to walk
  • shortening of muscles or tendons around joints
  • breathing problems
  • scoliosis
  • heart problems
  • swallowing problems

Procedures for Treatment of Muscular Dystrophy

The following procedures are used to treat Muscular Dystrophy:
  • Surgery: To correct the spinal curvature

Medicines for Muscular Dystrophy

Below is the list of medicines used for Muscular Dystrophy:

Self-care for Muscular Dystrophy

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Muscular Dystrophy:
  • Get vaccinated against pneumonia: Helps in preventing from respiratory infections
  • Implement healthy dietary changes: Helps in preventing muscular dystrophy

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Muscular Dystrophy

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Muscular Dystrophy:
  • Do range-of-motion and stretching exercises: Keep joints as flexible as possible
  • Do regular exercise: Maintains strength, mobility and general health
  • Use mobility aids: Helps in maintaining mobility and independence
  • Get breathing assistance: Forces air in and out of their lungs and improves oxygen delivery

Patient Support for Treatment of Muscular Dystrophy

The following actions may help Muscular Dystrophy patients:
  • Find someone to talk with: Discuss feelings with a friend or family member makes you feel comfortable
  • Learn to discuss your child's condition: Ask your doctor about the most appropriate ways to discuss this progressive condition with your child

Time for Treatment of Muscular Dystrophy

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Muscular Dystrophy to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • Disease cannot be treated but only maintained or effects reduced

Related Topics

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Muscular Dystrophy.

Related Topics

Muscular Dystrophy

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