What causes Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy?
- Caused by genetics, usually a faulty gene passed down by the mother
What are the signs/symptoms of DMD?
A person with this disease can suffer from several signs/symptoms such as:
- Muscle weakness
- Arm, leg and spine deformity
- Muscle spasms
- Stiffening, weak hands
- Spinal curvature
- Waddling gait
How does Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy progress?
People who have the disease may find that it tends to progress quite quickly. Here are some of the progressive symptoms that a person with DMD may suffer from:
- Sometimes use a wheelchair at age 12
- Breathing/heart problems at later stages
- Chest infections
- Weight loss
- Shortened life expectancy (up to early twenties)
How is Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy treated?
- Surgery - improves spinal curvature
- Limb support - splints/callipers
- Steroids - slow down muscle wastage
- Nasal ventilation - help with breathing problems
- Physiotherapy/breathing exercises
- Aids and adaptations
- Support at school
How is DMD tested or prevented?
There are a few ways in which Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy can be tested for or prevented. These include:
- Genetic counselling - couples are tested for the faulty gene and given a probability of having an affected child
- Pre-implantation - uninfertilised ova are removed and the egg is fertilised. The embryo is tested for the condition and implanted or destroyed