Muscular Dystrophy Term Paper

Length: 4 pages Sources: 1+ Subject: Disease Type: Term Paper Paper: #20619559 Related Topics: Genetic Disease, Genetics, Genetic Engineering, Genetic Testing
Excerpt from Term Paper :

¶ … Muscular Dystrophy. The writer explores the types, the causes, the symptoms and the research to find a cure. There were six sources used to complete this paper.

One would be hard pressed to find an American who has never witnessed the Jerry Lewis telethon for Muscular Dystrophy. It is an annual Labor Day tradition and has been for many decades. While everybody is aware that Lewis does the telethon and have watched it at least once, they would have a difficult time reporting on the disease the telethon aims to cure. Muscular Dystrophy is a disorder that afflicts millions of people in the world but in laymen language it seems to get confused with other disorders frequently.

The word dystrophy means faulty nutrition and comes from Greek and Latin roots. When the word is combined with muscular it is easily understood as muscles not being given the proper nutrients to function. Doctors who witnessed the symptoms visually but did not have the advances of medical science to explore or prove its existence first described the disease in the 19th century. "Today, we know that many muscle-wasting diseases are caused by defects in genes for muscle proteins. Most of these proteins appear to play a role in supporting the structure of muscle fibers, although some may play a role in the biochemical processes that go on in muscle fibers. The term muscular dystrophy refers to a group of genetic diseases marked by progressive weakness and degeneration of the skeletal, or voluntary, muscles, which control movement. The muscles of the heart and some other involuntary muscles are also affected in some forms of muscular dystrophy, and a few forms involve other organs as well (Most Frequently Asked Questions About Muscular Dystrophy (http://www.mdausa.org/publications/fa-md-qa.html)."

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Some of the forms can become apparent in childhood or infancy while others appear in adulthood or the teen years. Some forms do not make themselves known until the person is planted firmly in their middle aged years or even senior years. Years ago a diagnosis of childhood MD meant dying shortly thereafter but with today's medical advances the children afflicted are living longer than ever before.

While there are many forms of MD the most commonly seen ones, are "myotonic, Duchenne, Becker, limb-girdle, facioscapulohumeral, congenital, oculopharyngeal, distal and Emery-Dreifuss (Most Frequently Asked Questions About Muscular Dystrophy (http://www.mdausa.org/publications/fa-md-qa.html)." Some of them are named after the muscles that are affected and others are founded in the type of trouble they cause for the muscles. There are also some named after the doctors who uncovered the form's existence. "As the root causes (gene defects) of the muscular dystrophies are discovered, doctors are beginning to change their thinking about how to classify some of the dystrophies. In some cases, a type of muscular dystrophy that looked like it might be one disease has been found to be several different diseases, caused by several different gene defects. In other cases, diseases that looked different have been found to be one disease with variations in severity (Most Frequently Asked Questions About Muscular Dystrophy (http://www.mdausa.org/publications/fa-md-qa.html)."

The forms differ in several ways. Age of onset, most affected area and which symptoms will progress are ways that they differ. In addition the way the disorder is genetically transferred makes them different. The cause of the disorder however is consistent. There are flaws in the protein genes of the muscles. In most cases the disorder is inherited but there are cases where there seems to be no genetic link yet the patient presents with MD.

A doctor makes a diagnosis by evaluating the patient's medical history and by performing The diagnosis can be difficult. It starts with a thorough physical examination and includes blood tests for elevated enzymes. In MD as muscles deteriorate the blood often has high levels of enzymes as they are leaked into the body.

Essential to diagnosis are details about when weakness first appeared, its severity, and which muscles are affected." Other possible diagnostic tools include muscle biopsies, protein testing, and genetics tests (Most Frequently Asked Questions About Muscular…

Sources Used in Documents:

References

MAJOR CHARACTERISTICS OF THE NINE (9) MUSCULAR DYSTROPHIES

http://www.mdausa.org/publications/fa-md-9.html

MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY

http://www.mdausa.org/publications/fa-md-qa.html
Part II http://www.mdausa.org/publications/fa-md-qa2.html


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