Muscular Dystrophy is a group of hereditary disorders (diseases that are passed to from parents to children), in which the muscles of the patient become weaker and decrease in size and these conditions worsen with time. There is no specific age group for Muscular dystrophy condition, thus it mean the disease can occur at almost any age, ranging from early childhood to adult ages. There are many types of muscular dystrophy which are listed below :
- Becker Muscular Dystrophy
- Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
- Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy
- Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy
- Congenital Muscular Dystrophy
- Fascio-scapulo-humeral Muscular Dystrophy
- Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy
Muscular Dystrophy can affect any all the muscles of a body, a group of muscles or muscles in specific region of the body, it has been observed that most of the types of muscular dystrophy effect only males whereas other effect both males and females.
Causes of Muscular Dystrophy
Muscular dystrophy does not have any causes like other diseases but it is caused by the defects in the gene which results in no or less production of dystrophin which in turn causes different types of muscular dystrophy according to the extent of defect present in that specific gene. This disorder is X-linked which means that a carrier mother may transfer the disease to her son (X-Y) even when she is not suffering from this disorder, in case of females this only occurs when both the genes (X-X) present in her are defected which is extremely rare.
Muscular Dystrophy Symptoms
Symptoms of muscular dystrophy can appear at any age but in most of the cases the symptoms are severe in younger ages, also the intensity of the symptoms depends on what type of muscular dystrophy is affecting the patient.
- The patient faces progressive muscle loss
- The ability to maintain balance is quite poor a results in frequently falling of the patient
- There is difficulty in respiration
- Ptosis (drooping of eyelids) is also observed
- There is partial or complete loss of motor control of muscles, which causes several other problems like waddling gait.
- There is loss in size and strength of a single muscle or a group of muscles.
- In rare cases mental retardation has also been observed including difficulties in learning.
Signs and other related pathological conditions
There can be observed some abnormal physical deformities like :
- Improperly curved spine which is called scoliosis.
- Contracture in the joints resulting in clubfeet or claw hands.
- Abnormal tone of the muscles can also be observed like hypotonia (loss of normal tone)
- The condition can affect the muscle of heart which is called cardiac myopathy which results in the arrhythmias (disturbance in rhythm of heart beat).
Muscular Dystrophy Treatment
At current moment, there is no known effective cures or treatment present for any of the types of muscular dystrophy, and in most of the cases death occurs in severe types and in cases of milder types patient can enjoy life with some care and support from others.
Treatment is done in order to correct related signs like maintain the tone of muscles, avoid the joints contractions along with physiotherapy to improve the quality of life.