If you’ve ever been curious about muscular dystrophy, now is the time to learn because August is Muscular Dystrophy Awareness Month!
Chances are, even if you think you have no idea what muscular dystrophy is, you actually do. Muscular dystrophy is the umbrella term for a group of diseases that cause progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass.
There are nine forms of diseases in the category: myotonic, duchenne, becker, limb-girdle, facioscapulohumeral, congenital, oculopharyngeal, distal, and emery-dreifuss. Many diseases are associated with these forms, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and many more.
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is one of the most common fatal genetic disorders that are diagnosed in childhood. It’s scary stuff, so it’s good to know early signs and symptoms of it in order to elongate expected lifespan.
Seven of these symptoms are frequent falls, trouble getting up from sitting down, difficulties running and jumping, waddling gait, enlarged calf muscles, muscle pain and stiffness, and learning difficulties. To find out more about the specifics of these symptoms, click this link.
In more optimistic and exciting muscular dystrophy news, the FDA has recently (this month) approved the drug edaravone (Radicava) to treat ALS. This is big news, because it is the first ALS drug to be approved in the United States in more than 20 years. To learn more about the drug, read this page.
Even so, the muscular dystrophy community has a long way to go, but since there are so many diseases under the muscular dystrophy umbrella, there’s so much you can do concerning awareness.