A group of 30 disease where in the muscle cells are progressively subjected to degeneration are called Muscular Dystrophies (MD). The onset of the disease varies from person to person. It affects and individual as early as 3 year old or even in the middle ages.
The severity of the disease depends mostly on the following factors:
- Age of onset
- Rate of progress
- Pattern of inheritance
Types of Muscular Dystrophy
Some of the most prominent types of Muscular Dystrophy include the following:
Duchenne MD: It is the most common form form of muscular dystrophy General cause behind this is the lack of dystrophin, a protein which maintain the integrity of the muscle. It has got very early onset, as early as the early stages of the first decade of an individual’s life. By the time first decade is crossed the situation worsens to the extent that the individual person need the support of the respirator. How ever girls are spared by this. In girls the disease is recessive the disease is not expressed but transferred form the mother to the children.
Becker MD: Very similar to Huchenne MD, but not that severe and the dystrophin is less but present in a defective form.
Facioscapulohumeral MD: it is commonly found among teenagers Face, limbs, shoulders and chest region get affected by this. Its symptomatic expression varies from being mild to severe.
Myotonic MD: It is characteristic adult form of Dystrophy. Muscle spasms, cataracts, cardiac abnormalities and hormonal disturbances are witnessed. Long faces, drooling eyes, swan like neck are the Physical features that are witnessed among the affected individuals.
Treatment for Muscular Dystrophy:
Unfortunately the degeneration of affected muscles can not be arrested, mostly symptomatic deficiencies are addressed.
The management of MD often include a multi-pronged therapy
- Physical therapy
- Respiratory therapy
- Speech therapy
- Orthopedic appliances for support
- Corrective orthopedic surgery
Medication for Muscular Dystrophy
The medication for muscular dystrophy include the following:
- Corticosteroids(slows muscle degeneration)
- Anticonvulsants(controls seizures)
- Immunosuppressants (Delays damages to affected muscle cells)
- Antibiotics(controls respiratory infection)
In advanced cases when cardiac muscles get affected patient needs ventilator support.
Prognosis for Muscular Dystrophy
As the severity varies with the type of the MD it is difficult to predict the outcome. Some affected infants die early while some other live to see the adulthood where in they suffer form disabilities. In some individuals the onset is mild and the progress is slow whereas in others the onset is severe and the degeneration is rapid.