7 Symptoms of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is just one of the nine types of the degenerative muscular disease. A French doctor named Guillaume Duchenne was the first person to take notice of the disease symptoms, and thus, experts named it after him. It wasn’t until around 1987 that specialists discovered that the disease came from a deficiency in a crucial muscle protein. The condition is genetic, and it starts to affect suffers as young as age three. There is a milder form of Duchenne muscular dystrophy called Becker muscular dystrophy. The Becker type is a little less symptomatic, and the symptoms may not start in an affected person until his or her teenage years.

To pinpoint and diagnose a case of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a medical specialist will run some tests. The first test that they run may be a blood test where they look at the creatine kinase levels. Creatine kinase leaks from the blood when something is destroying the person’s muscles. If that test yields positive results, the next test will be one in which they will examine the person’s DNA to look for mutations in the protein called dystrophin. They draw the conclusion from those two tests and then begin to treat the affected person.

The life expectancy of a person with Duchenne muscular dystrophy has improved over the years and is now into the 30s, 40s and even 50s. The numbers will improve as new medicines and processes become available for treatment. Parents of children who exhibit the signs of Duchenne muscular dystrophy should have their children checked by a medic as soon as possible to begin care. The following are seven of the most common symptoms that a person with the condition will have:

1. Difficulty Walking

Difficulty walking is one of the most common problems of people who have Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The disease affects all of the muscles, especially the ones in the legs and pelvic area. The human body has about 650 muscles, 13 of which are in the legs. The lack of protein causes the legs to be extremely weak, which makes it almost impossible for a person to be able to get around over time.

Many children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy have to live their lives in wheelchairs because they lose their ability to walk only a short while after they gain it. The babies often seem normal, but then various symptoms occur between the ages of two and six. Those symptoms include the declining ability to walk. The affected person may first show other signs like back hunching, protruding stomach, walking on the toes or awkward positioning of the shoulders. A swayed back may be another symptom that develops. Loss of balance enters at some point, and then the child may experience frequent accidents and falls because of it. The wheelchair eventually becomes the safest mode of transportation for the person because it prevents him or her from sustaining additional injuries.