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Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Essay

763 words - 4 pages

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is a particularly virulent form of muscular dystrophy that quickly weakens muscles throughout the entire body due to the resulting lack of a functional dystrophin protein that is integral for muscular function. It has a very early onset and spreads quickly, often debilitating the recipients and forcing them to be wheelchair bound well before adulthood. Dystrophin is essential for muscle to maintain its integrity and lacking the particular protein will sadly force an individual to waste away and be plagued with health problems for the rest of their life (which will also be shortened to around 30 years). The onset can begin very early, even in infancy as the child's ...view middle of the document...

Unfortunately for males however, lacking a second X chromosome will immediately doom them to inherit the disorder if the tainted allele is received during conception. Rarely, in some cases females can inherit faulty genes from both parents and develop the disorder as well.
Treatment for this disorder seems mostly to be directed towards targeting the symptoms rather than actually curing the disease. Some methods have been developed at least to help prevent children from actually being conceived with it in the first place. One such method known as “MicroSort” involves separating sperm containing X chromosomes from the Y variants and using the X versions for implantation into ovum to ensure the conception of daughters rather than sons. This can at least ensure that a child is born as a carrier at worse in most scenarios (obviously this method would not be effective if both parents had the disorder). Those born with DMD are typically given steroids to enhance muscle growth and maintain mobility for a few years longer than what is typical, but that is about as much as one can hope for sadly. It appears that it's an inevitability for anyone afflicted with the disorder to become wheelchair bound and eventually waste away.
Research into gene therapy does give hope for the...

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