If your kid is affected by Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), it is important for you to know about the best ways of dealing with the condition. Muscular dystrophy consists of group of diseases, which result in the weakening of muscles along with reduced flexibility. DMD accounts for being the most common type of muscular dystrophy. It occurs because of flaws in the gene, which controls how your body keeps the muscles healthy. This disease affects boys and the symptoms start appearing from early childhood.
There is no specific treatment for DMD. However, there are several ways, including medicines and therapy, to deal with the symptoms and to protect the muscles.
Taking care of your child
If your child has DMD, it does not mean that he will have to refrain from activities such as school, sports and spending time with friends. By sticking to the right treatment plan, you will be able to make your child active.
You can look for and join local support groups associated with DMD, as other families living with DMD can be a source of good advice and understanding about life with DMD.
The ability of the human body to move is because of the wonderful and smooth coordination between the various muscles and joints in the body. Of the muscles, there are some muscles which we can control, known as voluntary. The limbs and hands for instance, can be controlled by us. On the other hand, the muscles of the stomach, heart and other internal organs cannot be controlled by us. These are known as involuntary muscles. When there is an abnormality in the muscle growth, the condition is known as muscular dystrophy (MD). There are multiple types of MD, and most of these are due to genetic abnormalities and are inherited from the mother. It is caused due to lack of a protein named dystrophin.
It is mostly seen in boys at a young age, and it can progress with age. In some people, the onset is late, and even smooth muscles like the heart can be affected. The most common presentation is muscle wasting with gradual loss of muscle mass and loss of strength in the muscles. This leads to waddling gait, muscular pain and stiffness, difficulty sitting and standing, frequent falls, and other learning disabilities. As the disease progresses, there is a further limitation of movement with shortened muscles and tendons, increasingly curved spine, cardiac issues, difficulty swallowing and breathing problems. These symptoms are due to the smooth muscles being affected.
Though there are multiple varieties of it, the most common ones are Duchenne and Bekcer’s. In Duchenne, the symptoms begin to manifest at about 3 years of age and by the age of 20, the child usually dies of respiratory failure. While there is no specific treatment for MD yet, there are a lot of supportive measures including drugs and physiotherapy to improve function and restore quality of life to the extent possible.
Though not proven yet, there are drugs being tested to delay muscle wasting, altering the damaged dystrophin, and other advanced techniques to treat MD. Currently, however, drugs and physiotherapy are the only methods available.
Muscular Dystrophy is not a single disease but a group of hereditary muscle-destroying disorders. There are more than 30 types of these disorders, vary in their inheritance pattern, rate of progression, initial muscle attacked and age of onset.
The skeletal muscles are the main group of muscles affected by this disorder. The skeletal muscles are used during voluntary body movements. There are progressive weakness and degeneration of these group of muscles.
The disease may occur in adulthood or childhood, but the more severe form tends to occur in early childhood.
It is an inherited disorder, means it is passed down through generations in a family. Many cases occur from spontaneous mutation, that is not found in genes of either of the parent, and this defect can be passed to the next generation.
The day to day activities of the patient is affected. Some of them are
Some types involve heart muscles, causing cardiomyopathy or disturbed heart rhythm (arrhythmias)
The diagnosis is based on the combination of characteristic clinical presentation and the results of a muscle biopsy.
There is no remission in this disease. The severity of the disability depends on the type of muscular dystrophy. Some cases may be mild and progress very slowly over a normal lifespan, while others produce severe muscle weakness and functional disability. All types of Muscular Dystrophy slowly get worse, but how fast this happens varies widely.
It is not an incurable disorder, rather a genetic disorder for which no satisfactory treatment has been found in any system of medicine.
The treatment is aimed at controlling the symptoms.
The progressive loss of muscle mass is primarily responsible for reduced quality and length of life. The drug treatment is based on slowing the process of muscle degeneration and thus improvement of the quality of life. Corticosteroids are known to extend the ability of these patients to walk but have substantial side effects and their mechanism of action is unknown.
Inactivity (such as bed rest and sitting for long periods) can worsen the disease.
Physical therapy, exercises, orthopedic instruments (wheelchairs and standing frames), speech therapy and corrective orthopedic surgeries may help to preserve muscle function and prevent joint contractures.
Occupational therapy may be given as a supportive line of therapy for being self-sufficient to do daily activities (self-care, self-feeding, etc)
Homeopathic treatment helps to slow down the process of muscular degeneration and can work on bringing some symptomatic relief, such as improving muscle power. It is aimed at a better quality life.
Homeopathic medicines are prescribed after the detailed case study consisting of the physical, emotional and genetic makeup of an individual. Homeopathic medicines help to reduce muscle weakness and control disease progression. There are some specific Homeopathic remedies, which help for muscle paralysis and weakness and which have been found effective in the treatment of Muscular Dystrophy. Homeopathic treatment is recommended.
Weakness of the muscles due to a genetically inherited condition is known as muscular dystrophy. This condition prevents the body from producing the required protein that can help in building muscles. This protein is also responsible for making the muscles strong and stable. This is most commonly seen in children who may seem clumsy as they begin to grow up and indulge in varied kinds of movements. Let us learn more about this condition and the ways in which it may be treated.
Muscular dystrophy (MD) is a group of muscular problems which leads to loss of muscle mass and therefore loss of muscle strength. This is a progressive condition and gradually worsens with time. in some cases, the patients may experience complete muscle breakdown, ultimately affecting patient mobility to a large extent. The condition is usually inherited and caused by genetic mutations. It can affect children and adults alike. There are different types of the condition but the most common ones are:
In addition to the patient, there is a lot of stress on the caregiver and so coping with MD is hard not just on the patient, but also on the caregivers. Listed below are some medical and nonmedical measures to deal with this condition.
Especially if a child is affected, it is very important to not to keep them away from their regularly affects. Empathizing with them and working with them is very important. Encourage what they are able to do on their own, and gradually assist them to do more. Keep the school informed of issues so that they can provide necessary attention care and attention whenever required. For adults, being part of social forums and/or groups helps, as there would be others who are going through the same problem as you, so you can get tips and suggestions for coping.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!