A recent republished article appeared in Pediatrics. Dr. Calderon described 6 cases of Congential Myotonic Dystrophy that had global delay. He also complied 55 cases 53 or which had global developmental delay. The diagnosis were by muscle biopsy then no DNA tests were available. The information urged using this as a differential diagnosis.
Below is the PDF of the article
Mental Retardation and Myotonic Dystrophy 1966
While poking around looking for solutions and help in the autism area I found a lot of help and support. And I found a new drug that is being tested now in Phase II studies. Its being tested for a sister disease that has a lot in common with Myotonic Dystrophy. Fragile X is a triple repeat disease and has some symptoms similar to myotonic dystrophy kids. Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is a genetic condition that causes intellectual disability, behavioral and learning challenges and various physical characteristics. Though FXS occurs in both genders, males are more frequently affected than females, and generally with greater severity.
Both of these diseases are single gene cause of mental retardation and autism. Perhaps the drug that treats one may be applicable to the other.
The good news is that there is a drug in late stage development that might help with autism in kids with myotonic dystrophy. This drug is called arbacofen and has been successfully tested in not only in kids with fragile X but also in other kids with autism as well. The outcome is promising and the studies are continuing. Its fairly advanced with studies in the Phase IIb, which means they are getting close to commercialization.