Muscular Dystrophy

Etiology

  • Genetic disorder causing degeneration of muscles
  • Multiple variants of MD
  • Myotonic dystrophy can present later in life

Risk Factors

  • May have family members with similar problems

Symptoms

  • Highly variable symptoms and progression
  • Often presents in childhood, with progressive weakness and wasting; though can present later in life
  • Some variants cause only muscle aches with activity (Limb-Girdle MD)
  • Can affect cardiac muscle, causing heart failure and/or dysrhythmias
  • SOB, cough, dysphagia if muscles of respiration, swallowing affected; also risk for aspiration, nutritional deficiency
  • Sometimes cognitive decline w/myotonic dystrophy

Physical Exam Findings

  • Muscle wasting, atrophy
  • Loss of reflexes
  • Frontal balding, early cataracts w/myotonic dystrophy

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