Muscular dystrophy is a type of disorder that can be inherited through genetic transfers. However, there are certain ways through which the disorder can be handled in order to improve the quality of life the affected individual is leading.
Muscular Dystrophy (MD) is a group of genetic discrepancies that results in weakness of the muscles further leading to a successive progression of the weakness that is caused in the muscles. There are several forms of this disorder. They are Myotonic dystrophy, Becker’s muscular dystrophy and Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy.
However, the most severe type of genetic discrepancy is Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy. An individuals age when the symptoms cropped up, the intensity with which the dystrophy spreads and the pathway (genealogy) through which the genes were forwarded are taken into consideration when diagnosing the form or type of this disorder.
Symptoms of Muscular Dystrophy
The symptoms will differ depending upon the type of dystrophy the individual is inflicted with. The symptoms may start to crop up either during childhood or adulthood and the severity of disability may occur depending on the form of MD.
- The most prominent symptom of this genetic disorder is that the muscles develop extreme weakness and may reach up to a stage where one may be confined to a wheelchair and is dependent on it for his active movement.
- In children, the ability to coordinate movements and developing assimilation skills is delayed and impaired.
- Children may also suffer from severe difficulties in walking and have a deprived sense of movement and stability. They lose their balance several times when they try to navigate from one place to another. They may trip and fall several times even while they cover short distances.
- They have physical deformities such as their backbone is bent and their stomach is protruding out.
- They also experience pain in the calf muscles. The pain is either a constant simmer or it could be a throbbing ache that makes any kind of movement very difficult.
- Getting afflicted with MD may result in child being obese from the very beginning. Weighty issues may come into the picture even when the individual counters symptoms of MD.
- Muscular contractions may occur as a result of the defect. This can cause a permanent joint contraction that makes movement impossible. A wheelchair is often required to move around.
- It could also result in the individual developing bald patches, especially in the anterior area of the scalp. He may also show signs of a possible mental impairment (in Myotonic MD) and may also have eyelids that look abnormally slouched and crinkled.
- Vision impairment may also occur with cataract making way and not letting the eye function normally.
Symptomatic Treatment for Muscular Dystrophy
Muscular dystrophy is caused predominantly by genetic defects. It is a form of rupture in the genetic transfer that makes the condition an inherited disturbance. As the commencement of this disorder is in inheritance of defective genes and faulty genes transfer, there is no cure or treatment in particular, to stop the growth or development of this disorder. However, there are certain ways that would help the individual in curbing the chances of developing severe muscle contractions in the joints or the calf muscles.
- A Physical therapy is often taken to when countering the effects of the disorder. Certain deep breathing exercises can reduce the pain in the joints and slows the process of spine concaveness that the individual is going through.
- Because there is a risk of respiratory failure, deep breathing exercises are prescribed to the patient. One has to administer cautious respiratory care, for the individual is at a greater risk of conducting respiratory failure.
- Navigating on wheelchair can make the individual less dependent on others help.
- The wastage and weakening of muscles that takes place due to the symptoms could be lessened by conducting an orthopedic surgery. In certain cases of Myotonic MD, it becomes mandatory to surgically fix a cardiac pacemaker.
- Administering medications such as corticosteroids, phenytoin and quinine in terms of curbing and relieving muscle weakness and wastage caused by Duchenne’s MD could be an alternative.
With adequate care, exercise, and appropriate treatment, the situation can be controlled, if not completely ceased.