The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) has defined muscular dystrophies (MD) as “a group of more than 30 genetic diseases characterized by progressive weakness and degeneration of the skeletal muscles that control movement. Some forms of MD are seen in infancy or childhood, while others may not appear until middle age or later. The disorders differ in terms of the distribution and extent of muscle weakness (some forms of MD also affect cardiac muscle), age of onset, rate of progression, and pattern of inheritance” (NINDS, 2010, par. 3). There are various types with corresponding clinical manifestations and therapy for MDs. In this regard, the essay aims to compare and contrast, one particular type, the Duchenne MD with another type, the Facioscapulohumeral MD. The causes, pathology and treatment would be discussed and evaluated in light of the two identified MDs.
The Duchenne MD is considered the most common form of MD afflicting children, identified to occur in 1 out of 3,500 live male births (London, et.al. 2007, 1791). This type of MD, likewise known as pseudohyperthophy “refers to enlargement of muscles as a result of their infiltration with fatty tissue” (London, et.al. 2007, 1791). The disorder usually appears within the first three to four years of the child’s development.
In a research conducted by Bogdanovich, et.al. (2005), the authors averred that “DMD is characterized by progressive and severe muscle loss that leads to loss of ambulation, with those affected often becoming wheelchair dependent toward the end of the first decade of life. The disease is caused by mutations in the DMD gene resulting in quantitative and/or qualitative disturbances in expression of the gene product, dystrophin” (par. 1).
The symptoms for Duchenne MD include any or a combination of the following: “fatigue, mental retardation (possible, but does not worsen over time), muscle weakness, and