Muscular Dystrophy


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What is it?

Muscular dystrophy is a type of genetic disorder. It makes the muscles in your body not work that good. People with muscular dystrophy have incorrect or missing information in their genes. Muscular dystrophies keeps the muscles from doing the proteins that they need for healthy bones. This shortens the life of the person. Muscular dystrophies is genetic, which means that it comes already in your genes. Muscular dystrophies is not contagious so you can’t get it from somebody that does have it. Muscular dystrophy can happen to an adult or a baby. How long a person lives with muscular dystrophy depends on how bad it is.

Diagnosis:

A doctor can test if you have muscular dystrophy by doing a medical exam and if needed a muscle biopsy. In a medical exam the doctor will check for your family's health, your past health, and what medications you are currently taking. A muscle biopsy is when the doctor takes a piece of your muscle tissue and he then examines it under a microscope. If the person has muscular dystrophy then the tissue is going to show up much larger and some other tissues are going to show some signs of breaking down.


Treatment:

There is no cure yet for muscle dystrophy, that is why doctors are trying to find a cure for it. You can still take treatments for muscular dystrophy. Teens with muscular dystrophy have to do certain types of exercises and physical therapies to help avoid having contractures. A contracture is when the muscle stiffens by the joints which makes it a lot harder to move, they can also cause the joints to lock in very painful positions.


Examples:

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Duchenne muscular dystrophy is the most severe and most common. The duchenne dystrophy shows up on kids from the age of two to three years old.This effects the lower limbs of the child. It causes the kid to waddle and toe walk. This type of muscular dystrophy is caused because there is more muscle than their needs to be. This affects only males. Even though females cannot have muscular dystrophy they can still be carriers. About one of every 3500 males have the probability of getting muscular dystrophy.

Another kind of muscular dystrophy is Becker muscular dystrophy. Becker muscular dystrophy, also, effects only boys. This is much like Duchenne muscular dystrophy, except that it is less severe and

it can show up later in a boy. The symptoms like the weakness or the breakdown of muscles for Becker muscular dystrophy, start to show up at the age of ten or maybe even in their adulthood. Not only does this effect muscles, it also can affect the heart, bones or the joints. A person might live long having Becker muscular dystrophy, depending on how bad it is.

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Resources:


Clark, Alisa. "Muscular Dystrophy." Teens Health. July 2010. Web. 12 Jan. 2011. <http://kidshealth.org/teen/diseases_conditions/bones/muscular_dystrophy.html#

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK22263/

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