Distal Muscular Dystrophy (DD) is a term used to describe a set of over thirty genetic diseases. These diseases are all progressive and cause muscle weakness. The voluntary distal muscles and the skeletal muscles of the patients shrink and become weaker with time. The distal muscles are the ones that are farthest from the center of the body. For e.g., the muscles of the limbs. On the other hand, proximal muscles are the muscles located nearest to the center of the body. For e.g., muscles of the shoulder.
Patients with this type of myopathy are unable to perform daily activities like walking or brushing their teeth. That’s because various voluntary muscles of their bodies start wasting away. These disorders have different ages of onset, severity, etc. Different MD patients have different inheritance patterns. Some get this disease at birth; others develop these conditions during their childhoods. Although DD is rare, it often runs in families. That’s why people who have parents with muscular dystrophy need to be very cautious.
Distal Muscular Dystrophy (DD) is a term used to describe a set of over thirty genetic diseases. These diseases are all progressive and cause muscle weakness.
The fundamental symptom of this condition is weakness. Patients start feeling weaker in their lower arms or legs. The symptoms worsen with time. You can get DD at any age in your life. Here are some common symptoms:
Most versions of this condition are caused by genetic mutations. It’s very rare for a person to develop muscular dystrophy extemporaneously. Typically, one or both parents of patients pass faulty genes to their children. The parent may not have the condition. But the genetic mix-up of the two parents triggers this disease in the child.
Patients who suspect they have muscular dystrophy conditions must visit their doctors as soon as they experience one or two symptoms. That’s because doctors examine such patients (including children) to learn about their family health histories. Doctors put these patients through tests like:
Genetic counseling is vital for families with track records of inherited dystrophy. But, if spontaneous mutations occur in the womb, no one can prevent this disorder. Some basic prevention steps include -
Physiotherapists can help children and adults with muscular dystrophies maintain function. They halt the disorder’s progression by creating individualized treatment plans.
Overall, individualized care, medical devices, medications, and therapy can improve the patient’s mobility. These treatments can prevent falls, aid breathing, and improve the patient’s developmental skills. But, for dystrophy patients, treatment priorities shift with time. That’s why constant access to physiotherapy is crucial.
There are many other genetic diseases that impact muscle functions. Some of them include - inflammatory myopathy, cardiomyopathy, polymyositis, and other neuromuscular diseases.