Degenerative Muscle Disease In Children

Diseases : A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y Z
Degenerative Muscle Disease In Children

Degenerative muscle disease in children is a genetic disorder wherein the muscles of the body gradually become weak. It occurs due to either missing or incorrect genetic information that inhibits the body from manufacturing proteins that are required to build as well as maintain healthy and normal muscles. (See Reference 1)

Due to degenerative muscle disease, a child gradually loses his or her ability to walk, sit in an upright position, breathe normally, and move their hands and arms. As this disease is generally progressive in nature, many more health problems tend to manifest. (See Reference 1)

However, there are many kinds of degenerative muscle disease, and the degree of severity can vary. Some of the diseases appear in infancy; while in others the symptoms appear in adolescence or early adulthood.

Unfortunately, as the cause for degenerative muscle disease is genetic, there is not available cure for it. However, research in ongoing, and researchers are making an effort to find out how different diseases occur and ways to prevent them. Some of the researches are concentrating on enhance the function of muscles and joints, while others are looking for ways to slow down the progress of the diseases, so that the affected child can live an active and independent life. (See Reference 1)

Some of the degenerative muscle diseases seen in children are highlighted below:

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy: This disease is, unfortunately, quite common and is seen in boys. In every 3,500 boys, 1 boy will be affected by this disease. Generally, girls can carry the gene for Duchenne's, but they do not have any symptoms. This degenerative muscle disease occurs due to a problem with the gene that is responsible for making dystrophin, which is protein. When this protein is not available for the muscles, they break down and become progressively weaker. (See Reference 1)

The symptoms of Duchenne tend to appear by the time the boy reaches an age of 5 years. The pelvic muscles are first affected. By the time the boy reaches the 12 years of age, he will require a wheelchair. As the disease progresses, it affects the shoulders, back, arms and legs. Finally, once the muscles that control respiration are required, the boy would require a ventilator for breathing. The average lifespan of Duchenne patients is around 20 years. (See Reference 1)

Becker Muscular Dystrophy: This disease is similar in nature to Duchenne. However, it is not that common and the progress is also slower. This disease is seen in 1 boy out of 30,000 boys, and is also caused due to inadequate amounts of dystrophin. (See Reference 1)

The symptoms tend to appear in the teenage years; and just like Duchenne, the pelvic muscles are first affected. The weakness then extends to the shoulders and the back. However, kids suffering this disease have a normal lifespan and do not require a wheelchair for mobility. (See Reference 1)

Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy: This degenerative muscle disease affects both girls as well as boy, and the initial symptoms can appear anywhere from 8 years to 15 years. This disease is also progressive in nature and adversely affects the muscles of the pelvis, shoulders, and back. The severity of the disease can vary, with some suffering from mild weakness, while others suffering from severe weakness. (See Reference 1)

More Articles :

Degenerative Muscle Disease In Children Reference
1. Kids Health: Muscular Dystrophy