Muscular Dystrophy. The Writer Explores

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

mdausa.org/publications/fa-md-qa.html).

There are things that can be done to alleviate symptoms of MD. Exercise in moderation and other physical regimes can help slow the symptoms and alleviate the symptoms already present. Independence is achieved through the use of canes, wheelchairs, walkers and other devices to promote autonomy. "Surgical procedures can sometimes be helpful in relieving muscle shortening caused by some forms of muscular dystrophy (Part Two (http://www.mdausa.org/publications/fa-md-qa2.html)."

Medications designed to assist in specific forms of the disorder have also proven helpful.

The cardiac problems associated with some forms of muscular dystrophy sometimes need treatment. A cardiac pacemaker is frequently needed in Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy. Medications can also be used to treat some cardiac problems (Part Two (http://www.mdausa.org/publications/fa-md-qa2.html)."

The disease is inherited at one half from the mother and the other half through the father. Their exact DNA match provides the recipe for MD to occur. There are now genetic tests that can be performed for couples to determine if their DNA mapping might cause their children to develop the disorder.

There are differences in several of the forms of MD.

MYOTONIC MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY

Age of onset: Early childhood to adulthood; Newborn period for congenital form

Inheritance / gender affected: Autosomal dominant / males and females

Muscles first affected: Face, feet, hands Progression: Slow neck (MAJOR CHARACTERISTICS OF THE NINE (9) MUSCULAR DYSTROPHIES (http://www.mdausa.org/publications/fa-md-9.html)"

MYOTONIC dystrophy (DM), also known as Steinert's disease, is the most common adult form of muscular dystrophy. Its name underscores an unusual symptom found only in this form of dystrophy -- myotonia -- which is similar to a spasm or stiffening of muscles after use."Myotonic dystrophy results from a gene flaw on chromosome 19, one of the autosomes. The gene containing the defect is for an enzyme recently named myotonin protein kinase. Some researchers believe the defect may affect other nearby genes neck (MAJOR CHARACTERISTICS OF THE NINE (9) MUSCULAR DYSTROPHIES (http://www.mdausa.org/publications/fa-md-9.html)."

DUCHENNE MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY: Age of onset: 2 to 6 years

Inheritance / gender affected: X-linked / males Muscles first affected: Pelvis, upper arms, upper legs Progression: Slow, sometimes with rapid spurts neck (MAJOR CHARACTERISTICS OF THE NINE (9) MUSCULAR DYSTROPHIES (http://www.mdausa.org/publications/fa-md-9.html)"

BECKER MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY

Age of onset: 2 to 16 years. Inheritance / gender affected: X-linked / males

Muscles first affected: Pelvis, upper arms, upper legs.Progression: Slow neck (MAJOR CHARACTERISTICS OF THE NINE (9) MUSCULAR DYSTROPHIES (http://www.mdausa.org/publications/fa-md-9.html)."

There are many researchers working together to locate a cure for Muscular Dystrophy today. The gene is being located, and the DNA combinations are now understood. This is the first step to doing a reverse engineering type study to discover what might stop the disease in its tracks. Watching a child go from running and playing to being confined ot a wheelchair for life is difficult for the most stoic person. It is a disorder that has many markers when it occurs, and the secret will be figuring out the secret to counteracting those markers so the disorder can be stopped. With telethons such as the one Jerry Lewis puts on, there is hope that a cure will be found. Until then medical science continues to work at extending the lives of those afflicted and improving their quality of life while here.

References

MAJOR CHARACTERISTICS OF THE NINE (9) MUSCULAR DYSTROPHIES

http://www.mdausa.org/publications/fa-md-9.html

MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY

http://www.mdausa.org/publications/fa-md-qa.html

MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY

Part II http://www.mdausa.org/publications/fa-md-qa2.html

Author not available, Fed: Cure for muscular dystrophy near., AAP General News (Australia), 02-22-2001.

Anonymous, Muscular Dystrophy in Children. A Guide for Families., American Rehabilitation, 04-01-2001, pp 37.

Maura Lerner; Staff Writer, U of M. team finds muscular dystrophy gene / / Discovery is second genetic connection to form disease., Minneapolis Star Tribune, 06-03-1998, pp 13A.