Study offers a new insight into a common symptom of muscular dystrophy

New research has examined how a person’s sense of balance tends to deteriorate as the effects of Duchenne muscular dystrophy become more pronounced.

This would suggest that treatment which seeks to alleviate the symptoms would help children cope more readily with day-to-to-day tasks.

Difficulties balancing are well-known in Duchenne patients, increasing the risk of falls and often limiting individuals’ independence and opportunities to interact with others.

However, this is the first time that a team of scientists have looked specifically at the degree of difficulties in various stages of the condition.

More than 50 children (aged six to 11) participated in the study – which was co-ordinated by a team of experts at Turkey’s Hacettepe University.

It was found that those youngsters with the muscle-wasting disease who were at ‘Level 3’ had a sense of balance around a third as effective as a healthy individual of the same age. By this stage, even climbing a flight of stairs can present a challenge.

The wide-reaching study also demonstrated that Duchenne has a tendency to progress differently in each case.

This would suggest that factors including levels of care and physiotherapy have a bearing on how the condition develops.

The full results of the research project have been published in the European Journal of Paediatric Neurology.

At EnViva Paediatric Care, our experienced staff can provide complex nurse-managed homecare for babies, children and young people with a range of disabling conditions, including muscular dystrophy. For more information about the services we provide, please contact us today.