Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Essay

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Duchenne's muscular dystrophy, also known as psuedohypertrophic muscular dystrophy, is a typical sex-linked disorder in which the muscles degenerate throughout a person's life. It literally means "faulty nutrition of the muscles." Muscular Dystrophy has no cures, and this particular type of muscular dystrophy affects only males. One in 3,500 baby boys are born with this disorder and survival is rare beyond the early 30s, death is usually caused by a respiratory disease. (ygyh.org) Duchenne's muscular dystrophy is named after the French neurologist, Guillaume B. A. Duchenne, who lived from 1806 to 1875. In 1861 he became the first person to describe the disorder. In 1951 Elizabeth Shull Russell, an American geneticist, …show more content…
(www.ncdi.nlm.nih.gov) Usually, children with muscular dystrophy develop normally during the first few years of their life. In time some common symptoms appear, including: stumbling, waddling, difficulty climbing stairs, and toe walking (walking on the toes, not letting the heels hit the floor). It is also very common for a child with MD to develop large calf muscles. This is a condition called calf pseudo hypertrophy, in which the muscle tissue is destroyed and replaced by fat. (www.kidshealth.org) Duchenne?s muscular dystrophy usually affects the patient by age five, and they?re usually in a wheelchair by the age of twelve. Over time the muscles weaken in the shoulders, back, arms, and legs. Eventually the respiratory muscles are affected, and a ventilator is required to assist with breathing. Kids with this form of MD usually have a life span of around twenty years. Most kids with Duchenne?s muscular dystrophy are of average intelligence, although one-third of MD cases also experience learning disabilities, and a few cases have mental retardation. (www.kidshealth.org) Physical therapy can be used to help a child maintain muscle tone, thereby extending their lifespan. For those that do have Duchenne?s muscular dystrophy activity is highly encouraged. Inactivity can worsen the muscle disease. Leg braces can also allow a child with MD to walk independently for a longer period of time.
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