Muscular Dystrophy is a genetic disease which has no cure. This generally affects young children. In this disease gradual deterioration of muscles occur and slowly the patient is unable to do any movements. Read on.
Muscular Dystrophy is an inherited disease. It is characterized by progressive weakness of the muscles which control movement. There are a variety of dystrophies and the inheritance pattern varies with each type. Most of the dystrophies affect young children.
The major forms of MD include myotonic, Duchenne, Becker, limb-girdle, facioscapulohumeral, congenital, oculopharyngeal, distal and Emery-Dreifuss.
Duchenne Dystrophy is the most common dystrophy that occurs in children and has a sex-linked recessive inheritance. This means it affects boys, and females are carriers of the disease. All the voluntary muscles of the body are involved in the dystrophic process, some more and some less. For example the muscles involved in chewing food are least affected while respiratory muscles are involved late in the disease. Limb girdle muscles are most involved. As life advances these children loose various functions. First, walking is affected, later they find difficulty in rising from sitting posture. Soon they take to the wheel chair. Though their brain functions normally, the muscles slowly keep deteriorating, and pretty soon independent existence becomes impossible. The life span of these children is cut short and they usually die around 16-20 years of age.
Muscular Dystrophy Society
In view of the above some like-minded doctors and social workers got together in 1973 and founded Muscular Dystrophy Society. The aim of the society was to give cheer to the afflicted as there is no treatment available. The Society has concentrated on improving their life style, increase their ability to stand and walk for more number of years.
The genetic defect of each type of dystrophy is now recognised and soon treatment related to this genetic knowledge may be introduced. In order to keep pace with the world, the Society is now trying hard to expand its activities and introduce genetic research in India. Funds are difficult to come by and the Society appeals to one and all to donate generously.
Muscular Dystrophy Society, 2nd floor, Ratnakar, Narayan Dabholkar Road, Mumbai 400 006. (80G income tax exemption certificate available.)