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Missouri Neurosciences Center

How is muscular dystrophy diagnosed?
Your physician will diagnose muscular dystrophy after a physical examination and diagnostic testing. During the examination, your child's doctor will obtain a complete history and ask if other family members are known to have muscular dystrophy.
Diagnostic tests for muscular dystrophy may include:

  • Blood test
  • Muscle biopsy (a small sample of muscle tissue is taken and examined under a microscope)
  • EMG (a test to check from where the muscle weakness is coming)

What are the treatments for muscular dystrophy?
To date, there is no known treatment or surgery that can cure muscular dystrophy or stop the muscles from weakening. The goal of treatment is to prevent deformities and you to function as independently as possible.

Since muscular dystrophy is a life-long condition that is not correctable, management includes focusing on preventing or minimizing deformities and maximizing the child's functional ability at home and in the community.

Nonsurgical interventions may include:

  • Braces and splints used to prevent deformity, promote support, or provide protection
  • Medications
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Physical therapy
  • Positioning aids used to help the child sit, lie, or stand
  • Psychological counseling

Surgical interventions may be considered to manage the following conditions:

  • Scoliosis (a sideways curvature of the back bones) associated with muscular dystrophy
  • Maintaining the child's  or adult ability to sit or stand

To schedule an appointment with one of our muscular dystrophy specialists, please call (573) 882-1515.

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