Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

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Imagine being a parent and discovering that your child won’t be able to walk by the age of 12 and won't live past the age of 25. (http://dystrophy.com/muscular-dystrophy/Types+of+Muscular+Dystrophies) This has become a reality for many parents as they find out that their child has a form of muscular dystrophy. This particular type of muscular dystrophy is referred to as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, which is a genetically inherited disorder that is the most common and severe of all muscular dystrophies. It is found in 1 of every 3,500 males and is characterized by progressive muscle wasting. It is caused by the lack of dystrophin, which is a protein found in the cell membrane of muscles. (http://www.answers.com/topic/duchenne-muscular-dystrophy?cat=health) One early clinical sign of the disease is the child showing a late start in walking and sometimes they are referred to as a late bloomer. Usually when the child walks they have a waddling motion and sometimes they walk up on their toes. Usually, hypertrophy, or enlarging of the muscles, especially in the calves is noticed. However, the hypertrophy is actually caused by adipose (fat) tissue, which replaces the muscle tissue. Another clinical sign of DMD is small amounts of mental retardation or learning disabilities. Although this is not apparent until the child is older, it is a common pattern that is found in children with DMD. There have been many studies done to determine what exactly causes the mental retardation. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duchenne_muscular_dystrophy)

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Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy is a recessive genetic disorder caused by a deficiency of the protein dystrophin, which is found in muscle cells. This disorder is usually only found in males. It has very rarely been found in females because they have two X chromosomes and the disease is recessive. They pass it on to one half of their sons and to one half of their daughters who become carriers. In the...
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