It is a group of disorders that affects the striated muscle (Skeletal and Cardiac) of the body and is basically an inherited disease (it is transferred from parents to children), in this disorder there is progressive muscle size and strength loss which is caused by loss of muscle proteins later changing to muscle fiber death and tissue death.
Types of Muscular Dystrophy
There are about nine types of muscular dystrophy which have different intensity and characteristics :
- Steinert’s Disease or Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy : It is the type of muscular dystrophy which is most common in adults, as its name tells , in this disorder the muscles remain in spasms or become stiffened after slight use or exercise, and lower temperatures increase these symptoms. This type affects both males and females, and long with spasms other disorders like nervous disorders and problems of digestive tract have been observed.
- Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy : It is the type which is most common in children and it only affect males between 2-6 years of age, decrease in the mass of muscle is progressive and in most cases the children are wheelchair ridden by the start of their teen years, other symptoms like mild retardation and problems in breathing are also present and these sufferers usually do not survive more than 20 years.
- Emery-Dreifuss : It is the type which affects from childhood to teen years and is present only in the males. It affects the muscles of pectoral region to upper arms and lower parts of legs and along with that patients have extreme heart problems that are usually fatal. This is the type which also affects the carriers (females) but the symptoms are not very severe.
- Becker Muscular Dystrophy : This type similar to Duchenne but the symptoms are milder and can appear till 25 years of age. Usually the affected people can live and enjoy life and are also able to walk but they have some heart problems and is present only in males.
- Limb-Girdle : It is the type which affects from teenage years to adulthood and is present in both males and females. As the name indicates, in this type the problem starts from hip (pelvic girdle) region and then reaches to the shoulders ( pectoral girdle ) and later legs and arms are also affected, the sufferers are unable to walk and most patients live past mid adulthood.
- Fascioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy : As the name indicates in this type of muscular dystrophy the muscles of face, scapula (shoulder blade) and humerus (bone which on one side is in shoulder joint and elbow joint on the other end) are affected, it affects both males and females but about half of the sufferers are able to walk throughout their life and almost all the patients live a normal life span.
- Congenital Muscular Dystrophy : It is the form which is present at the time of birth and cause the loss of muscles and there shrinking, it two type have been found and are present in both males and females.
- Oculophyrangeal Muscular Dystrophy : It is the type of muscular dystrophy which affects primarily the muscles of eyes and throat which occur around 40s to onward ages, symptoms include the weakness of eyes and fascial muscles which could later cause swallowing problems, this type predisposes the patients to pneumonia and choking.
- Distal : It is the type which is very rare and also mildest of the muscular dystrophies , it affects the muscles of fore arms to hands and muscles of lower legs to feet, is very slowly progressing and is not very severe.