Treatment of Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy
- Although myotonic dystrophy cannot be cured, treatment directed at providing symptomatic relief to affected patients can be given.
- Mild cases of myotonic dystrophy do not require any treatment.
- More severe cases might demand treatment with quinine, phenytoin and other similar anticonvulsant drugs. Treatment is directed at providing symptomatic relief to affected patients.
- Muscle function may be preserved to some extent with rehabilitation therapy or physical therapy. Such forms of treatment can preserve muscle strength and flexibility.
- Patients may be provided with canes, ankle and wrist braces, or other supportive devices.
- Patients with cardiac and respiratory problems can be treated using a cardiac pacemaker and ventilator respectively.
- Urging the patient to indulge in a high fiber diet can prevent constipation.
- Cataract surgery in the form of lens replacement may be done to improve the vision of affected patients.
- Occupational therapy can help the patient find alternatives to loss of muscle strength and dexterity and can ensure restoration of functionality of the affected patient to the maximum possible extent.
- A speech and language specialist can provide assistance in coherent speech and swallowing food.
- Pregnant women with myotonic dystrophy should be closely monitored during pregnancy to avoid any complications during pregnancy, labor or delivery.
Myotonic Dystrophy - References
- Muscular Dystrophy - (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/musculardystrophy.html)
- Muscular Dystrophy Information Page - (http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/md/md.htm)
- Basic Human Genetics - Elaine Johansen Mange & Arthur P. Mange
- Medical Genetics - Lynn B. Jorde, John C. Carey, Raymond L. White
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