Muscular Dystrophy Treatment in Abingdon, VA
What is Muscular Dystrophy?
Muscular dystrophy is a collection of over 30 genetic diseases, generally resulting in a weakening and deterioration of the skeletal muscles. Many who suffer from the disease experience gradual decreases in both muscular strength and mobility, often accompanied by difficulty breathing.
Those suffering from muscular dystrophy may begin to display symptoms at almost any stage in life, depending on which form of the disease is inherited. Some of the most prevalent forms of muscular dystrophy are listed below.
Duchenne's Muscular Dystrophy
Duchenne's muscular dystrophy is the most common form of muscular dystrophy in children. This form of the disease affects only males and commonly appears between ages 2 to 6. Duchenne's muscular dystrophy patients can live into their late teens and early 20s. Those who suffer from this form of muscular dystrophy often experience progressive spinal deformation and impaired respiratory or cardiovascular function.
Mytonic Muscular Dystrophy
Mytonic muscular dystrophy is the most common form of the disease in adults. The disease carries a reduced life expectancy and is characterized by muscular spasms or stiffening. Aside from the expected muscular weakness, those with Mytonic muscular dystrophy often experience issues with the central nervous system, heart, eyes and GI tract. This form of the disease does not typically become a strain on daily activities until later on in life.
Becker's Muscular Dystrophy
Similar to Duchenne's, Becker's muscular dystrophy affects only males. Signs of this form of the disease can reveal themselves much later than what is commonly seen with Duchenne's muscular dystrophy, in some cases as late as 25 years old. This form of the disease is characterized by heart problems. Those with Becker's muscular dystrophy can often walk into their 30s, commonly living longer than those with Duchenne's.
Symptoms of Muscular Dystrophy
Symptoms of muscular dystrophy include:
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle pain
- Strained mobility
- Respiratory difficulties
- Cardiovascular problems
- Delayed development
Muscular Dystrophy Treatment Options
No one treatment has proven effective in stopping or reversing the onset of the disease. However, commonly used methods for treating its symptoms include physical and respiratory therapy, the implementation of accessible technologies and appliances, and drug therapy.
Drug therapy treatment options often include immunosuppressant's and corticosteroids (used to prolong the death and deterioration of muscle cells), anticonvulsants (to combat seizures), and antibiotics (used in the case of respiratory infection).
Muscular Dystrophy Prognosis
The speed and intensity of the disease's progression along with the average life expectancy is dependent on the type of muscular dystrophy inherited. However, the development of accessible technologies and appliances have greatly widened the range of possibilities and potential available for those living with the disease. For more information on muscular dystrophy, call (423) 482-8711 or contact Dr. Dalal Akoury online.
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