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    Top 5 Signs of Muscular Dystrophy

    Do you have the warning signs of muscular dystrophy? This serious condition encompasses several diseases that cause muscle weakness and eventually a loss of muscle mass. The symptoms of muscular dystrophy vary with each type of the condition, but the main signs and symptoms to look out for are frequent falls, muscle pain and stiffness, learning disabilities, difficulty running or walking, and an inability to relax contracted muscles. There is no cure for muscular dystrophy, but the disease can be managed with the help of medications. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, then read on to learn more about the top warning signs and treatment options.

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    Why do people with muscular dystrophy sometimes have learning disabilities?

    Children who've been diagnosed with muscular dystrophy face increased risks of multiple learning disabilities. Researchers believe this is the result of dystrophin abnormalities in the brain caused by this condition. Roughly a third of boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy have learning disabilities.

    Why are people with muscular dystrophy at a greater risk of falling?

    Muscular dystrophy is characterized by muscle weakness and a loss of muscle mass. Over time, this can lead to balance issues and muscular instability, resulting in more falls. Muscular dystrophy can also cause the muscles to contract without relaxing, which can throw people off balance and lead to more falls.

    Why does muscular dystrophy cause muscle pain and stiffness?

    This condition can cause the muscles to contract without being able to properly relax afterward. The result can be muscles that are constantly tense, resulting in pain and stiffness. Muscles can also be tender or painful as people experience weakening muscles and atrophy.

    Why does musclar dystrophy make running, walking and jumping more difficult?

    Similar to why the condition causes falls, muscular dystrophy affects muscle strength and mass, along with the ability for the muscles to relax properly after contracting. The result can be difficulty with all kinds of movement.

    Do all muscular dystrophy patients have problems with muscle relaxation?

    A key symptom of myotonic muscular dystrophy is the failure of the muscles to relax after contracting. It's more common with this form of the condition than in others.

    What else can be done to manage muscular dystrophy symptoms?

    A number of things can be done to help patients who've been diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. Physical therapy, mobility aids, braces and range-of-motion stretching can all be helpful. Some patients need to wear CPAP masks while they sleep if their symptoms worsen.

    What are the top three medications used for treating muscular dystrophy?

    The top three medications used in the treatment of muscular dystrophy are deflazacort, phenytoin and mexiletine. Deflazacort is an oral corticosteroid used to manage Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which amounts to more than half of all cases. The other two medications help treat myotonic muscular dystrophy.

    How do these three medications work?

    Deflazacort is a powerful anti-inflammatory medication that has been shown to improve muscle strength in people who've been diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. Phenytoin is an anti-seizure medication that can help the muscles to relax over time, and mexiletine can correct irregular heartbeats that can stem from muscular dystrophy.