Diseases of the Muscular System

Topics: Muscle, Muscular system, Acetylcholine Pages: 5 (1060 words) Published: March 15, 2013
Diseases of the Muscular System
There are over 650 muscles in the human muscular system. Each muscle has a specific role to perform. These muscles help us talk, walk, sit, run, eat, move about, hold things, and most important the continuous pumping of the heart muscles keeps us alive. Muscular system diseases cause many problems in the human body, that affects the mobility and functioning of various parts of the body. The list is very long as there are number of disorders that affect the human body.

Muscular Dystrophy
This is a genetic disease is a group of inherited muscle disease that causes damage to muscle fibers. The symptoms of muscular dystrophy disease include weakness, loss of mobility and lack of coordination. The most common diseases classified as muscular dystrophy are Duchenne, Becker, limb girdle, congenital, facioscapulohumeral, myotonic, oculopharyngeal, distal, and Emery-Dreifuss. The basic fact about muscular dystrophy is that there is no specific cure for muscular dystrophy.

Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy is one of the diseases that affects the muscular system, where a persons posture, balance and motor functions are affected. Brain damage during or before childbirth causes loss of muscle tone, causing problems carrying out physical tasks in children. It is one of the most common congenital disorders.

Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva
This is a very rare congenital disorder that causes the soft tissues to become hard like bones permanently. This causes the muscles, tendons, ligaments as well as other connective tissues to grow bones between the joints. Thus, leading to permanent restriction of movement. There is no effective Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP) treatment and pain is controlled using medications.

The inflammatory myopathy that leads to chronic muscle and skin inflammation is called dermatomyositis. This is a progressive autoimmune disease of the connective tissues that causes muscle weakness. The dermatomyositis symptoms include muscle pain, hardened calcium deposits under the skin, gastrointestinal ulcers, intestinal perforations, lung problems, fever, fatigue and weight loss. It leads to a red or violet colored skin rash on the face, hands, knees, chest and back. There is no cure for this progressive muscle weakness but can be controlled using corticosteroids and immunosuppressive drugs.

Compartment Syndrome
Chronic compartment syndrome caused by compression of the blood vessels, nerves and muscles within a closed area of the body. This causes tissue death due to lack of oxygen. The compartment syndrome symptoms include severe muscle pain, feeling of tightness in muscles, paresthesia, paralysis, etc. Treatment involves immediate surgical treatment, called fasicotomy. This helps in relieving the pressure on the muscles and helping them become normal again.

Myasthenia Gravis
Myasthenia gravis is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by muscle weakness and fatigue. There is a breakdown of the neuromuscular junction and thus, brain loses control over these muscles. The myasthenia gravis symptoms and signs include drooping eyelids, difficulty swallowing, muscle fatigue, breathing difficulty, inability to control facial expressions, etc. Medications and surgical intervention are a part of myasthenia gravis treatment.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a serious neurodegenerative disease. This disease is also known as the Lou Gehrig's disease. In this disease, the motor neurons destroy that leads to loss of control over voluntary muscle movement. The early symptoms of ALS include difficulty to swallow, breath and speak. Paralysis is an advanced Lou Gehrig's disease symptom.

Mitochondrial Myopathies
Mitochondrial myopathies is a condition where the mitochondria, the powerhouse of cells, is damaged. The symptoms of this neuromuscular disease include muscle weakness, heart rhythm abnormalities, deafness,...
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