Diagnosis and Treatment

I came across this very interesting article from the UK about the diagnosis and treatment of Myotonic Dystrophy DM. This is a more technical article on the disease and may be good for your doctor to review. Management of Myotonic Dystrophy 2010. This article is from 2010. For the most current medical information on Myotonic dystrophy visit the MDF website. This article I think gives a good overview of the subject.

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How do I know if I have Myotonic dystrophy

How do I know if I or someone I know has Myotonic Dystrophy?

First you can scan the pages and see if your symptoms match those of people with Myotonic Dystrophy. Some of the symptoms are: A quick visual test is the grip test: Look at these pictures and then try to open and close your hand very rapidly. This are large visual files so may take a minute to open! Use your back button on the browser when done.

Polyhydraminos (Excess amniotic fluid during pregnancy)
Ulcerative Colitis (abdominal pains)
Muscle Pains
Hair Loss
Apathy/Lack of Motivation
Difficulty in swallowing and chewing
Abnormal ECG
Weakness in muscles, Hand, Ankle, Shoulder
Inability to rapidly open and close hand
Hypersomnia (Excessive sleeping)


Grip Test   
                 Characteristic Release

DNA Testing

If this still indicates that you may have myotonic Dystrophy you can visit your local Muscular Dystrophy Association if you live in the Untied States. They will arrange for a DNA blood test. The testing measures the number of CTG repeats on Chromosome 19 for DM1 and the number of Repeats on Chromosome 3 for DM2.  There is a foundation that may help with funding for testing. Contact us for more information.

There is also private companies that will do testing. You can send a blood sample to these testing labs and they will analyze the blood for you and send a report. Athena Diagnostics performs testing on both Type 1 and Type 2 Myotonic Dystrophy, DM1 and DM2. The fees for testing are between US$250 and US$350 per test.

Athena Diagnostics
Four Biotech Park
377 Plantation Street
Wochester, MA 01605
508/756-2886 Phone
508-753-5601 FAX

Baylor College of Medicine
Medical Genetics Laboratories
One Baylor Plaza
Houston, TX 77030

The normal number of repeats will be up to 5-38. Over this amount indicates that the disease may be present. The number of repeats can be in the thousands for the congenital form. You need to discuss this information with your doctor, the best would be with a neurologist at the Muscular dystrophy clinic in the USA or a Neurologist.

If the test show that an individuals has Dm then  make sure that all affected individuals carries an alert card. Emergency Medical personnel need to know if the person has DM. Click here to get an alert card. You can write our office for a plastic card to be carried in the wallet or purse.

What to bring to the Medical Office for 1st appointment

For your first appointment you might want to bring a medical history of any family members that might be affected. It will also help to print out the guidelines and Care recommendations from the Scottish Medical Society. Click here to access the Medical Guidelines and Care Recommendations.

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