Saturday, November 19, 2011

Muscular Dystrophy: I should have watched those Jerry Lewis Marathons

Some people in America may be familiar with Jerry Lewis marathons year after year, creating awareness for Muscular Dystrophy. Unfortunately, changed the channel many times and never knew what MD was….. Now I have some knowledge…..

Muscular Dystrophy is a group of inherited disorders that include weakness of the muscles  and loss of muscle tissue. This weakness gets worse over time. It defects muscle protein and causes death of muscle cells and tissues. Most types of Muscular Dystrophy are multi-symptom disorders which means they may affect more than one part of the body like the heart, brain, nervous system etc.  Muscular Dystrophy has different forms. They include:
·         Becker Muscular Dystrophy
·         Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
·         Emery-Dreifuss Muscular Dystrophy
·         Limb-Gridle Muscular Dystrophy
·         Facioscapulohummeral Muscular Dystrophy
·         Myotonic Dystrophy
·         Myotonia Congentia

A series of tests can be done by a doctor to see what type of MD a person may have. For diagnosis of Muscular Dystrophy, some doctors may do a muscle biopsy. This consists of the doctor removing a small piece of muscle tissue and examining it closely. Also, genetic testing can be done to see what forms of MD a person may have. Symptoms of someone with Muscular Dystrophy are not limited to, but include:
·         Joint pain
·         Joint stiffness
·         Muscle pain
·         Problems with coordination
·         Calf deformation
·         Poor balance
·         Inability to walk

 If you know someone in your family has this disability, get tested to know if it is a gene that you carry. Prenatal Screening and genetic testing is important.

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