Does your baby fall ill frequently? Is your baby finding it difficult to get up from sleeping or sitting position? If you said yes, your dear little one might be suffering from muscular dystrophy. Your baby would need right and effective medical treatment to overcome the symptoms of muscular dystrophy. Read our post to learn causes, symptoms, and treatments of the disease here.
What Is Muscular Dystrophy?
Muscular dystrophy in babies is a genetic disorder that leads to weakening of the body’s muscles. Duchene muscular dystrophy is a type of muscular dystrophy that occurs in babies. Babies who suffer from the disorder loses the ability to sit upright, walk, move hands easily, and breathe easily due to increasing weakness eventually (1).
[ Read: Signs Of Scoliosis In Babies ]
Causes Of Muscular Dystrophy In Babies:
Muscular dystrophy in babies occurs due to the presence of one of the defective genes, which is responsible to produce proteins to safeguard muscle fibers from damage. Missing or incorrect genetic information prevents the affected baby from producing proteins necessary to build and maintain healthy muscles. The defect in the particular gene that leads to muscular dystrophy results due to a genetic mutation. The mutation is either inherent or spontaneous occurring in the egg or developing an embryo (2).
Early Signs Of Muscular Dystrophy In Babies:
The most prominent symptom of muscular dystrophy in babies is the increasing muscle weakness. Here is a list of muscular dystrophy symptoms in babies.
- Frequent falls
- Trouble in getting up from sleeping or sitting position
- Difficulty in walking or crawling
- Walking on toes
- Waddling gait
- Muscle stiffness and pain
- Large calf muscles
- Difficulty in learning (3)
[ Read: Sandifer’s Syndrome In Babies ]
Diagnosing Muscular Dystrophy In Babies:
Doctors check medical history and conduct a physical examination of the affected baby. They may recommend certain tests like:
- Enzyme Tests: Examination of damaged muscle release enzymes.
- Electromyography: Measurement of electrical activity to study the change in the pattern of electrical activity.
- Genetic Testing: Examination of blood samples of the affected baby for mutation of genes.
- Muscle Biopsy: Removal and analysis of a small part of baby’s muscle through an incision.
- Lung-Monitoring Tests (ECG): Examination of lung function.
- Heart-Monitoring Tests (ECG): Examination of heart function.
[ Read: Bow Legs In Babies ]
Treating Muscular Dystrophy In Babies:
There is no cure for muscular dystrophy, but certain treatments can effectively reduce problems. These medications help enable babies to remain mobile as long as they can.
Doctors may recommend corticosteroids, such as prednisone, to delay the advancement of symptoms and effects muscular dystrophy and increase the muscle strength in babies. However, longtime use of these medications may weaken the bones or increase the chances of fracture. Doctors may also recommend heart medications, such as beta-blockers and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, to prevent damages to the heart of the baby due to the disorder.
Several kinds of therapies and assistive devices can help enhance the quality of life of babies with muscular dystrophy. Stretching exercises can improve mobility and flexibility of the joints. Aerobic exercises can help improve mobility, strength, and overall health. Braces can promote mobility and help keep tendons and muscles flexible. Mobility aids, such as walkers and wheelchairs, can help maintain mobility. Breathing assistance, such as sleep apnea device, can help improve oxygen intake at night.
In extreme cases, the doctor may recommend a surgical operation to correct a spinal curvature of the baby since that would make breathing difficult (4).
Did your baby suffer from muscular dystrophy? What did you do to treat it? Share your experiences with fellow mommies here. Leave a comment below.
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