Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy Definition: A disorder characterized by progressive symmetric wasting of skeletal muscles without neural or sensory defects. The wasted muscles tend to enlarge because of connective tissue and fat deposits, giving an erroneous impression of muscle strength.
Symptoms Begins insidiously between ages 3 and 5. Affects leg and pelvic muscles. Spreads to involuntary muscles. Difficulty climbing stairs. Fall down often. Scapulae flares out when arms are raised. Calf muscles become enlarged and firm. Usually by age 9 to 12 children are confined to wheelchairs. Death commonly results from sudden heart failure.
Treatments There is no treatment to stop the progressive muscle impairment. Orthopedic appliances, exercise, physical therapy, and surgery can help correct contractures that can preserve mobility and independence.
Genetics Family members who are carriers of muscular dystrophy should recessive genetic counseling regarding the risk or transmitting the disease Amniocentesis cant detect muscular dystrophy, but can reveal the fetuses sex.