Muscular dystrophy is an inherited disease that causes progressive muscle weakness. Babies born with this condition have a faulty gene that prevents healthy muscle tissue from forming.
Although there is no cure for muscular dystrophy, dedicated neonatal specialists at Dignity Health Central California hospitals provide a wide range of treatment options to ease the symptoms.
Find a Doctor for care with humankindness for fetal conditions, including muscular dystrophy, in Central California.
What is Muscular Dystrophy?
Muscular dystrophy is a genetic condition, meaning it’s passed from parent to child. The genetic mutation causes a defect in the protein that produces muscle fibers. Over time, this can lead to overall muscle weakness.
There are many different types of muscular dystrophy. Each affect varying areas of the body. Some types are seen early in infancy or childhood, while others develop later in life.
Muscular Dystrophy Symptoms
The symptoms vary, depending on the type of muscular dystrophy. Common symptoms seen in all types of muscular dystrophy are:
- Trouble breathing or swallowing
- Overall muscle weakness
- Difficulty with movement
- Stiff joints
- Delayed developmental milestones, such as walking or sitting up
If your baby shows signs of muscular dystrophy, your doctor can perform diagnostic tests to rule out or confirm a diagnosis.
Treating Muscular Dystrophy at Dignity Health Central California
Prevention efforts begin with family planning, which includes genetic testing to educate and prepare parents to care for a child with muscular dystrophy.
Since there’s no cure for the condition, treatment focuses on easing the symptoms and maximizing muscle function.
Your baby’s treatment plan may consist of:
- Physical, speech, or occupational therapy
- Respiratory therapy
- Surgery to correct spine problems and improve movement
- Medication to prevent painful muscle spasms, slow muscle damage, or improve muscle strength
If muscular dystrophy causes breathing difficulty at birth, our Level II NICUs offer rapid and quality support. For comprehensive care for your newborn trust the experts at Dignity Health Central California.
Maternity care specialists at Dignity Health Central California offer compassionate treatment for muscular dystrophy in Bakersfield, Merced, and Stockton, CA.