Updated: Jun 2, 2020
Muscular Dystrophy is the sister disease to Friedreich’s Ataxia/FA (talked about it in my previous post HERE). It has very similar symptoms to FA, making it hard to distinguish. Although similar, MD is a disease that people are more aware of, as opposed to FA. Many people would come up to me and ask, “ Do you have Muscular Dystrophy/ MD?” They may be similar in terms of symptoms but biologically, they are very distinct.
MD is a collection of diseases characterized by muscle wastage. Some examples are the Duchenne and Becker Muscular Dystrophy. This is also caused by a gene mutation (like in FA) resulting in a defective protein, Dystrophin. This protein is responsible for binding the muscles to protein, like a glue. Damage to this causes muscle wastage. Muscles are in all parts of the body and this wastage can happen anywhere!
Scoliosis- muscle damage in spine
Heart issues- damage to heart muscles
Slurred speech- weak throat muscles
Trouble walking- degeneration in thigh muscles
Trouble using arms- weak hand muscles
Eventually, the muscle mass decreases to a point where the hands and legs appear like a stick.
KEEP IN MIND THAT A DIAGNOSIS DOES NOT DEFINE A CHILD!
STAY TUNED FOR THE NEXT DISEASE, NEXT MONTH