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Myotonia congenita is a disorder that affects muscles used for movement (skeletal muscles). Beginning in childhood, people with this condition experience bouts of sustained muscle tensing (myotonia) that prevent muscles from relaxing normally. Although myotonia can affect any skeletal muscles, including muscles of the face and tongue, it occurs most often in the legs. Myotonia causes muscle stiffness that can interfere with movement. In some people the stiffness is very mild, while in other cases it may be severe enough to interfere with walking, running, and other activities of daily life.
HOW IS MYOTONIA CONGENITA DIAGNOSED?
Diagnosis of Myotonia Congenita is done during infancy or early childhood. Rheumatologists may perform complete physical examination and also evaluate your family history. Diagnostic evaluation like muscle biopsies may help confirm diagnosis
HOW IS MYOTONIA CONGENITA TREATED?
Some cases of myotonia congenita do not require treatment, or it is determined that the risks of the medication outweigh the benefits. If necessary, however, symptoms of the disorder may be relieved with quinine, phenytoin, carbamazepine, mexiletine and other anticonvulsant drugs. Physical therapy and other rehabilitative measures may also be used to help muscle function. Genetic counseling is advised in certain cases.
DID YOU KNOW?
The two major types of myotonia congenita are known as Thomsen disease and Becker disease. These conditions are distinguished by the severity of their symptoms and their patterns of inheritance. Becker disease usually appears later in childhood than Thomsen disease and causes more severe muscle stiffness, particularly in males.