Musculr Dystrophy

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Anatomy and Physiology 2, SCI 136
Research project # 40904000

Muscular Dystrophy
Definition
Muscular dystrophy (MD) refers to a group of more than 30 genetic diseases that cause progressive weakness and degeneration of skeletal muscles used during voluntary movement. The word dystrophy is derived from the Greek dys, which means "difficult" or "faulty," and troph, or "nourish." These disorders vary in age of onset, severity, and pattern of affected muscles. All forms of MD grow worse as muscles progressively degenerate and weaken. Many patients eventually lose the ability to walk (“National Institute,” 2011). Some types of MD also affect the heart, gastrointestinal system, endocrine glands, spine, eyes, brain, and other organs. Respiratory and cardiac diseases may occur, and some patients may develop a swallowing disorder. MD is not contagious and cannot be brought on by injury or activity (“National Institute,” 2011).
Method(s) of diagnosis Muscular dystrophies are diagnosed through both the patient’s medical history and a complete family history to determine if the muscle disease is secondary to a disease affecting other tissues or organs or is an inherited condition. It is also important to rule out any muscle weakness resulting from prior surgery, exposure to toxins, current medications that may affect the patient's functional status, and any acquired muscle diseases. Thorough clinical and neurological exams can rule out disorders of the central and/or peripheral nervous systems, identify any patterns of muscle weakness and atrophy, test reflex responses and coordination, and look for contractions. Various laboratory tests may be used to confirm the diagnosis of MD (“National Institute,” 2011).
Blood and urine tests can detect defective genes and help identify specific neuromuscular disorders. For example: * The level of serum…...

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