Muscular dystrophy is a group of disorders that lead to the gradual deterioration of the body’s muscles. They become progressively weaker and atrophied. The extremities, pelvis and hips are most involved. This leads to increasing difficulty in walking and moving. These disorders occur more in males, commonly between the ages 5 and 12. There are different types of muscular dystrophy, depending on the exact genes involved. Somewhat different symptoms are produced by the various defects. The most common form of this disorder, Duchenne's muscular dystrophy, is usually inherited. This particular form of muscular dystrophy only affects males.
Causes of Muscular Dystrophy
In Duchenne's muscular dystrophy the cause is genetic. The defective gene is carried by a female who does not have the disease, and she passes it on to her male children. When a woman carrier conceives with a normal male, half the male children may inherit the condition. In Duchenne's muscular dystrophy the muscle's lack a key protein that is necessary for normal function. In the absence of this protein, the muscles become increasingly weakened.
Signs and Symptoms of Muscular Dystrophy
The symptoms of the various forms are similar. They muscle groups that are affected are slightly different. Early one, there is weakness of the muscles. The gait is abnormal, appearing duck like. There is difficulty getting up. The muscles may appear larger and stronger than they are, due to pseudohypertrophy. As the disease progresses, gait becomes more difficult, and may be severe enough to require confinement to a wheelchair by age 9 to 12. Severe distortion of the body, including spinal deformities, occurs. Recurrent respiratory infections may develop.
Find more information
Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
The information contained on this site is for the sole purpose of
being informative. This information is not and should not be used or relied upon as medical
advice. Always seek the advice of your physician, nurse
Or other qualified health care provider before you undergo any treatment or
for answers to any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
If you believe you have a medical emergency, please discontinue use
of MyElectronicMD and call 911 now.
Nothing contained on or provided through the service is intended to be or is
to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment.
Your use of this site is subject to certain terms and conditions.