What Is Muscular Dystrophy?
Most of us never think about how we move. If we want to pick up a book and carry it across the room, we just do it. Our skeletal muscles respond to our desires, and we are on our way. Some people, however, are born with a genetic disorder that eventually takes away the ability to make muscles move at will.
Muscular Dystrophy (MD), a term that covers over 30 different disorders, presents a progressively difficult daily battle for movement in the lives of those who struggle with it. Eventually, their muscles waste away, and most find everyday tasks impossible to conquer. Understanding the form of muscular dystrophy that you are dealing with can help you make the best decisions for yourself and your family going forward.
This form of muscular dystrophy appears in male children between the ages of 2 and 6. Beginning with the muscles of the pelvis, upper arms, and legs, weakness increases as the disease progresses. Walking becomes difficult as the muscles continue to waste away. Wheelchair use is common by the age of 12.
Cognitive difficulties may also be present. Breathing and heart problems can appear and progress quickly. In the years following onset, the limbs and spine become deformed. People with this form of MD do not usually live past their early 20s.