How long can you live with Muscular Dystrophy?
Most patients of Muscular dystrophy have reduced life expectancies. The exact age depends on the type and severity of the disease. Many patients die in their early 20s due to respiratory or cardiac complications. However, with medical advancements patients are living up to their 30s and even 50s in some cases. One such medical feat is the stem cell therapy that has promising results and has drastically improved the quality of life of the patients.
How do I know my child has Muscular Dystrophy?
Signs of Muscular Dystrophy start appearing as early as the initial 5 years of life. Children achieve their key milestones very late. They are usually late walkers and have frequent falls. You may observe enlarged calf muscles in the kids resulting in waddling gait (walking on the toes). They may also have some degree of learning disabilities. This could also advance into difficulty in changing postures like standing, walking, running or jumping. Gradually, the child will face difficulty in even walking or sitting. Overall, they have muscle weakness in shoulders, arms, hips, and legs. A confirmed diagnosis will be given by the doctor. If you observe any of these abnormalities, do get your child checked up with your Pediatrician.
How is Muscular Dystrophy diagnosed?
One of the first diagnostic tests that a doctor may ask for is a Blood test for a protein called creatine kinase (CK). An elevated level of CK in blood is a preliminary clue to Muscular Dystrophy. The Doctor may also perform an Electromyography to rule out the involvement of neurological conditions. A confirmatory test, however, will be a Muscle Biopsy or genetic testing.
How does Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy progress?
DMD is a progressive, muscle-weakening disease requiring lifelong management. This means that once the muscle is lost, it cannot be repaired or restored. The disease initiates with a child having difficulty walking, sitting or talking. This advances into weakness of muscles with difficulty climbing the stairs or sitting up. Children with DMD get tired easily and have a wobbly walk. By early teenage, the dependence on a wheelchair will become more evident. Finally, they start developing breathing and heart problems. Though a lot of factors affect the progression of the disease, it can certainly be delayed and even reversed with improved medical care and advanced treatment regimes.
Stem cell therapy is a very promising treatment method for Muscular Dystrophy. Stem cells can help in regeneration of muscles thereby reducing dependence on wheelchairs. Advancells has treated patients with Muscular Dystrophy who regain significant muscle tone and mass. They are also able to experience improved quality of life with ease in performing normal day to day activities like walking, sitting or climbing stairs. They have better muscle coordination and reduced disease progression. Patients had a very positive experience at our facility and with accompanying physiotherapy, experienced drastic improvements.