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Limb-girdle muscular dystrophies

  • Alternative Names

    Muscular dystrophy - limb-girdle type (LGMD)


    Treatment

    There are no known treatments that directly reverse the muscle weakness. Gene therapy may become available in the future. Supportive treatment can decrease the complications of the disease.

    Management is tailored to the patient and his or her symptoms. It includes:

    • Heart monitoring
    • Mobility aids
    • Physical therapy
    • Respiratory care
    • Weight control

    Surgery is occasionally needed.


    Support Groups

    The Muscular Dystrophy Association is an excellent resource (800-572-1717).


    Expectations (prognosis)

    In general, people tend to have weakness that slowly gets worse in affected muscles and spreads.

    The disease causes significant loss of mobility or dependence on a wheelchair within 20 - 30 years.

    Heart muscle weakness and abnormal electrical activity of the heart can increase the risk of palpitations, fainting, and sudden death. Most patients with this group of diseases live into adulthood, but do not reach their full life expectancy.


    Complications
    • Abnormal heart rhythms
    • Contractures of the joints
    • Difficulties with activities of daily living due to shoulder weakness
    • Progressive weakness, which may lead to needing a wheelchair

    Calling your health care provider

    Call your health care provider if you or your child feel weak while rising from a squatting position. Call a geneticist if you or a family member has been diagnosed with muscular dystrophy and you are planning a pregnancy.