Muscular Dystrophy in Adults

What are muscular dystrophies and what are the symptoms? Can muscular dystrophy be prevented? Can muscular dystrophy kill you? A lot of questions related the disease should be answered. Find out below the valuable information about muscular dystrophies in young and older adults.

Muscular dystrophies are a group of inherited diseases that damage and weaken your muscles with time. This issue and weakness is because of the absence of a protein called dystrophin, which is needed for typical muscle function. The absence of this protein can cause problems with walking, swallowing, and muscle coordination.

There are more than 30 various kinds of muscular dystrophies, which differ in symptoms and intensity.

Muscular dystrophy can take place at any age, but a lot of diagnoses take place in childhood. Young boys are very likely to have this disease than girls.

The diagnosis for muscular dystrophy depends upon the type and the intensity of symptoms. Nevertheless, most individuals with muscular dystrophy do lose the ability to walk and ultimately need a wheelchair. There’s no known treatment for muscular dystrophies, however certain treatments may help.

Symptoms of Different Types of Muscular Dystrophies

There are over 30 different types of muscular dystrophy. There are nine different classifications used for diagnosis.

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

This type of muscular dystrophy is the most typical among children. Most of people affected are kids. It’s rare for women to establish it. The symptoms include:

  • problem walking
  • loss of reflexes
  • problem standing
  • bad posture
  • bone thinning
  • scoliosis, which is an unusual curvature of your spinal column
  • mild psychological disability
  • breathing troubles
  • swallowing problems
  • lung and heart weakness

People with Duchenne muscular dystrophy generally require a wheelchair prior to their teenage years. The life expectancy for those with this disease is late teenagers or 20s.

Muscular Dystrophy in Adults

Becker Muscular Dystrophy

Becker muscular dystrophy is similar to Duchenne muscular dystrophy, but it’s less severe. This type of muscular dystrophy likewise more typically impacts young boys, according to Muscle weakness occurs primarily in your arms and legs, with symptoms appearing in between age 11 and 25. Other symptoms of Becker muscular dystrophy include:

  • walking on your toes
  • frequent falls
  • muscle cramps
  • trouble getting up from the floor

Many with this disease don’t need a wheelchair till they’re in their mid-30s or older, and a small portion of individuals with this disease never need one. Most people with Becker muscular dystrophy live till middle age or later on.

Hereditary Muscular Dystrophy

Genetic muscular dystrophies are frequently evident between birth and age 2. This is when parents begin to see that their child’s motor functions and muscle control aren’t establishing as they should. Symptoms differ and may include:

  • muscle weakness
  • bad motor control
  • failure to sit or stand without support
  • scoliosis
  • foot defects
  • difficulty swallowing
  • respiratory problems
  • vision problems
  • speech problems
  • intellectual problems

While symptoms differ from mild to severe, most of those with genetic muscular dystrophy are not able to sit or stand without help. The life-span of someone with this type likewise differs, depending on the symptoms. Some individuals with congenital muscular dystrophy die in infancy while others live till adulthood.

Myotonic Dystrophy

Myotonic dystrophy is also called Steinert’s disease or dystrophia myotonica. This type of muscular dystrophy causes myotonia, which is an inability to unwind your muscles after they contract. Myotonia is special to this type of muscular dystrophy.

Myotonic dystrophy can affect your:

  • facial muscles
  • central nervous system
  • adrenal glands
  • heart
  • thyroid
  • eyes
  • intestinal tract

Symptoms frequently appear first in your face and neck. They include:

  • sagging muscles in your face, producing a thin, worn-down appearance
  • trouble lifting your neck due to weak neck muscles
  • trouble swallowing
  • saggy eyelids, or ptosis
  • early baldness in the front area of your scalp
  • bad vision, suching as cataracts
  • weight loss
  • increased sweating

This dystrophy type might also cause impotence and testicular atrophy in males. In women, it may cause irregular periods and infertility.

Myotonic dystrophy diagnoses are most typical in adults in their 20s and 30s. While its symptoms can affect your quality of life, the majority of the symptoms are not life-threatening. Individuals with myotonic dystrophy typically live a long life.

Facioscapulohumeral (FSHD)

Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is also called Landouzy-Dejerine disease. This type of muscular dystrophy affects the muscles in your face, shoulders, and arms. FSHD might cause:.

  • trouble chewing or swallowing.
  • inclined shoulders.
  • a jagged appearance of the mouth.
  • a wing-like look of the shoulder blades.

A smaller sized number of individuals with FSHD may establish hearing and respiratory problems.

FSHD tends to progress slowly. Symptoms usually appear during your teenage years, but they sometimes do not appear up until your 40s. Many people with this condition live a complete lifespan.

Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy

Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy causes weakening of the muscles and a loss of muscle bulk. This type of muscular dystrophy normally begins in your shoulders and hips, but it might likewise take place in your legs and neck. You may discover it hard to get up from a chair, pace stairs, and bring heavy products if you have limb-girdle muscular dystrophy. You may likewise stumble and fall more easily.

Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy affects both males and women. The majority of people with this kind of muscular dystrophy are disabled by age 20. Nevertheless, many have a normal life expectancy.

Oculopharyngeal Muscular Dystrophy (OPMD)

Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy causes weakness in your facial, neck, and shoulder muscles. Other symptoms include:

  • drooping eyelids.
  • difficulty swallowing.
  • voice changes.
  • vision problems.
  • heart problems.
  • trouble walking.

OPMD takes place in both males and females. People generally get medical diagnoses in their 40s or 50s.

Distal Muscular Dystrophy

Distal muscular dystrophy is also called distal myopathy. It affects the muscles in your:

  • lower arm.
  • hands.
  • calves.
  • feet.

It might likewise impact your respiratory system and heart muscles. The symptoms tend to progress slowly and include a loss of great motor abilities and problem walking. The majority of people, both male and female, are diagnosed with distal muscular dystrophy in between the ages of 40 and 60.

Emery-Dreifuss Muscular Dystrophy

Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy tends to impact more young boys than girls. This type of muscular dystrophy usually starts in childhood. The symptoms include:

  • weakness in your upper arm and lower leg muscles.
  • breathing problems.
  • heart problems.
  • shortening of the muscles in your spine, neck, ankles, knees, and elbows.

Most individuals with Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy pass away in mid-adulthood from heart or lung failure.

How Are Muscular Dystrophies Diagnosed?

A number of various tests can help your doctor diagnose a muscular dystrophy. Your doctor can:.

  • test your blood for the enzymes released by harmed muscles.
  • test your blood for the genetic markers of muscular dystrophy.
  • carry out an electromyography test on your muscle’s electrical activity using an electrode needle that enters your muscle.
  • perform a muscle biopsy to test a sample of your muscle for muscular dystrophy.

How Are Muscular Dystrophies Treated in Adults?

There’s currently no remedy for muscular dystrophy, however treatments can help manage your symptoms and slow the development of the disease. Treatments depend upon your symptoms.

Treatment alternatives include:

  • corticosteroid drugs, which help enhance your muscles and slow muscle wear and tear.
  • helped ventilation.
  • medication for heart problems.
  • surgery to help remedy the reducing of your muscles.
  • surgery to fix cataracts.
  • surgery to treat scoliosis.
  • surgery to treat cardiac problems.

Therapy has actually proven to be effective. You can strengthen your muscles and maintain your range of motion using physical therapy. Occupational therapy can help you:

  • become more independent.
  • improve your coping skills.
  • enhance your social abilities.
  • gain access to community services.



Updated: September 7, 2016 — 2:23 am

The Author

Reyus Mammadli

Healthy lifestyle advisor. Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.
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