Muscular Dystrophy: How Much Do You Know?

Muscular dystrophy is a genetic disease affecting the muscle tissues resulting to muscle loss which progressively weakens the muscles all over the time. The disease is cause mainly by the lack or insufficient protein component called dystrophin. It is not uncommon for us that protein plays a greater part on building muscle tissues for growth. Protein is also responsible for repairing damage tissue through regenerating cells containing high levels of protein nutrients. If a person has insufficient protein level, muscular weaknesses and poor growth are usually the results.

Muscle dystrophy occurs during childhood stage but other types of this genetic disease affects people during middle age. The most common type of MD is Duchenne muscle dystrophy in which the onset of the disease starts from early childhood. Usually, a child ages from 10-12 needs braces and wheelchairs to support the movement. Another form of MD is Becker Muscular Dystrophy, a less severe type compared to Duchenne muscular dystrophy. 

There are other forms of muscular dystrophy such as limb-girdle muscular dystrophy, Emery-Dreifuss muscular and facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy in which the occur in rare cases. The treatment of this genetic disease is not yet established but supportive treatments such as physical therapies and medical devices such as canes, walkers and wheelchairs are of great help to alleviate the movement of the affected individual. There are also medicines available to slow down the progress of muscle weakness such as corticosteroids.

If you have a familial history of muscular dystrophy, consulting a doctor before planning to conceive is a good way to prevent this genetic disease. There are also genetic tests to determine if you are pregnant wherein a small amount of amniotic fluid is withdrawn to test if the baby is affected with muscular dystrophy.


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