Muscular dystrophy is a rare inherited muscle disease in which the muscle fibers are unusually susceptible to damage. The muscles, primarily the voluntary muscles, become progressively weaker. In the late stages of muscular dystrophy, muscle fibers often are replaced by fat and connective tissue.
There are several types of muscular dystrophy. The various types of the disease affect more than 50,000 Americans. Many are associated with specific genetic abnormalities.The most common muscular dystrophies appear to be due to a genetic deficiency of the muscle protein dystrophin. These types of the disease are called dystrophinopathies. They include:
· Duchenne's muscular dystrophy. This is the most severe form of dystrophinopathy. Duchenne's muscular dystrophy affects young boys. Signs and symptoms of the disease usually appear between the ages of 2 and 5. Children with the disease fall and have difficulty getting up off the floor. By late childhood, most are unable to walk. Most die by their late teens or early 20s, often from pneumonia, respiratory muscle weakness or cardiac complications.
· Becker's muscular dystrophy. This is a milder form of dystrophinopathy. It generally affects older boys and young men, and progresses more slowly, usually over several decades.
Duchenne's and Becker's muscular dystrophy are passed from mother to son through one of the mother's genes. The disease can "skip" a generation until another son inherits the defective gene. In some cases of Duchenne's and Becker's muscular dystrophies, the disease arises from a new mutation in a gene rather than from an inherited defective gene. Other types of muscular dystrophies can be handed on from generation to generation and affect males and females equally. Still others require a defective gene from both parents.
· Muscle weakness
· Apparent lack of coordination
· Inability to elevate your arms over your head
· Progressive crippling, resulting in loss of mobility
· Blood Tests-Damaged muscles release enzymes such as creatine kinase (CK) into the blood. High blood levels of CK suggest a muscle disease such as muscular dystrophy
· Electromyography- Electrical activity is measured as you relax and as you gently tighten the muscle. Changes in the pattern of electrical activity can confirm a muscle disease. The distribution of the disease can be determined by testing different muscles.
· Muscle Biopsy-A small piece of muscle is taken for laboratory analysis. The analysis distinguishes muscular dystrophies from other muscle diseases
· Genetic Testing-This can be done simply by a small blood sample for laboratory testing to see weather there is a abnormal gene
There is currently no cure for any form of muscular dystrophy. Research into gene therapy may eventually provide treatment for some types of muscular dystrophy. Anti-inflammatory corticosteroid medications have been used to try to slow the progression of Duchenne's muscular dystrophy.
Physical and occupational therapy can help to maximize the function of muscles and to maintain the independence of people with muscular dystrophy. Exercises can prevent contraction of muscles and joints and may reduce or delay curvature of the spine.
Because respiratory infections may become a problem in later stages of muscle diseases, it's important to be vaccinated for pneumonia and to keep up-to-date with influenza shots. If respiratory muscles become weakened, using a ventilator may become necessary.
To prevent this disease from being inherited, you have to seek genetic counseling, so the disease wont spread to other generations of children.
1. Cerebral palsy results from an abnormality in areas of the brain that control motor function. Though cerebral palsy affects the muscles, the underlying problem originates in the brain, not in the muscles themselves.
2. Insufficient circulation to areas of the brain either before or following birth, Infection in or beside the brain
3. Bleeding in the brain
4. Bio Chemical or genetic factors or other causes that remain unknown
5. Or abnormal Brain Development
6. Meningitis after birth
The symptom depends on where and how much damage was done to the brain. The symptoms usually include:
1. Poor Muscle Control
3. Hearing and vision impairments
4. Speech Impairment
5. Mental Retardation
6. Balance when walking
Injury to the brain is permanent, as always full recovery is not possible. The degree of damage varies from case to case it is always difficult to make a prognosis, to one patient. Physical and Occupational therapists through therapy helps the child gain the knowledge and skills necessary for every day life. Nutritionlist are there to make sure the normal growth occurs. Psychologist deals with and helps work with educational and personal problems. Through these people they work together to make sure the patient has competency, and independence always. These are the ways the patient is helped and cared for to ensure the best for his/her future.