Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is a condition which causes muscle weakness. Body cannot make muscle protein called dystrophin making muscles weak and they gradually break down.The muscles becomes weaker as the boys gets older.
DMD only affects boys though girls can be carrier. DMD is inherited condition women with an abnormal gene are carriers and can pass this on to their children but 1/3 of these mutations happens spontaneously.
DMD is suspected in boys who are late in walking, has difficulty in climbing stairs, walks in tip-toes and uses hand to get up from sitting position(Gower sign), calf may look bulky.
DMD is diagnosed by checking the muscle enzyme called CPK in blood which is very high, disease is then confirmed using genetic test.
There's no cure yet for DMD
- Slowing the disease using medicines: Steroids improve function, and has been used for many years. It is usually started when the child’s functions start to detoriate
- Physiotherapy to help maintain correct position, avoid overexercises
Things that may help include:
a) Involving in recreational, leisure activities may include swimming, cycling etc.
b) Provision of an accessible environment at home and at school. Stairs are difficult for boys with muscle weakness.
c) Managing infections, breathing problems, scoliosis, and heart problems.
d) Using devices such as nighttime braces to stretch the muscles, and scooters or wheelchairs when walking distances becomes more difficult.
Many researches are currently undergoing and we hope to find cure for DMD in near future.
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