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Muscular Dystrophy Essay

813 words - 4 pages

Muscular Dystrophy

Scientists have been struggling with the cause, treatment of, and cure for Muscular dystrophy since its discovery in 1886, by Dr. Guillaume Duchenne. Muscular dystrophy is a hereditary disease, affecting thousands of people every year, two-thirds being children between the age of birth through adolescents. However, Muscular dystrophy can occur with no family history of the disease.

Muscular dystrophy is a degenerating disease, in which the skeletal muscles degenerate, lose their strength, and cause increasing disability and deformity. Muscles attached to the bones through tendons are responsible for movement in the human body, however, in muscular dystrophy ...view middle of the document...

Boys begin to have difficulty sitting up and standing, weakness that progresses to muscles in the trunk and shoulder, and later affecting the heart muscle. By the age of twenty years individuals affected with Duchenne dystrophy die.

While there is no known cure, scientists are certain of the genetic make-up that causes muscular dystrophy, an inherited faulty gene. This gene can be inherited in one of four ways: X-linked or sex-linked recessive, when a man with X-Linked muscular dystrophy has children, Autosomal Recessive Inheritance, and Autosomal Dominant Inheritance.

The mother, who is a carrier, inherits an X-Linked or sex-linked faulty gene. The result is producing an affected son and or a daughter being a carrier. The second way is an affected male producing children, particularly daughters. All daughters born to fathers with x-linked muscular dystrophy will be carriers; on the contrary their sons will be unaffected. Scientists link this to a genetic mutation in the gene, appearing most often for the first time in a family.

Autosomal recessive inheritance is the third type known to cause muscular dystrophy, whereas both parents are carriers of the defective gene. For this reason the offspring have a 25% chance of being affected with both malformed genes, resulting in them being affected. The chance increases with cousin marriages.

The final link to inheritance of Muscular Dystrophy is known as Autosomal Dominant Inheritance. With each pregnancy, this couple has a 50%...

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