Muscular Dystrophy Essay

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James suffers from Duchenne muscular dystrophy also known as muscular dystrophy; a muscular disease that occurs in boys around ages four to six. Duchenne muscular dystrophy has been discovered to be genetically transmitted disease carried from parent to offspring, even when the parent is not aware of it. This disease progressively damages or disturbs skeletal and cardiac muscle functions, starting from the lower limbs up to the upper limb. By damaging the muscle tissue, the lower limbs and other muscles affected become very weak and almost flaccid. The ultimate reason why this happens is because of the lack of dystrophin, a protein the body produces. James’s pathologist underwent a biopsy of James’s right gastrocnemius muscle. The pathologist would have seen a degeneration of the muscle or skeletal fibers due to the lack of dystrophyn and the accumulation of white blood cells. White blood cells have a very specific function, which is to clear the damaged muscle fibers from the debris. Also, healthy fibers that have not been damaged appear denser due to other fibers of the muscle being damaged. When half of the muscle fibers are working, all the work rest upon the healthy fibers. These fibers have to contract to their fullest extend due or in scientific terms myosin and acting would have to overlap even more. Furthermore, if myosin and acting does not contract to its full extend, the muscle will not be able to do its job. The skeletal and ultimate cardiac muscle fibers are the most severely affected by Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The disease starts by affecting the lower half of the body. As explained before, the muscle becomes weak due to the breaking down of the muscle fibers. The quadriceps muscles such as the rectus femoris a... ... middle of paper ... ...nd tendons, his muscles shorten and contract and making it difficult for him to be able to extend his legs and feet. As said before Duchenne muscular dystrophy weakens the diaphragm and intercostal muscles which aid in respiration. James’s will have a difficult time expanding and contracting his lungs. There may be a lot of different pulmonary infections James is going to be prone to due to him not being able to control his respiratory muscles. By not being able to control his respiratory muscles, it may cause him to swallow food and aspirate it into his lungs creating obstructions in his respiratory tract and ultimately death. The average lifespan of an individual with Duchenne muscular dystrophy is of about 18 years. Patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy most common causes of death are heart failure, respiratory failure, airway obstruction and infection.

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