Distal Myopathy

Overview

Type of disease: Rare conditions

Distal myopathy is a general term for a group of disorders that causes problems with the voluntary distal muscles, which mainly includes hands, feet, and muscles of the lower legs and arms. In this condition, these distal muscles are weak and may degenerate since the muscles are not working correctly and cannot be used. The symptoms of distal myopathy may vary greatly, as there are several different types of the condition; there are 11 subdivisions of the condition. The starting age can occur anytime from childhood to adulthood. Most forms of the condition develop slowly later in life.

Distal myopathy is a group of genetic conditions. Usually, distal myopathy is diagnosed based on a combination of clinical findings, patient history, and tests that look at how the muscles and nerves that affect those muscles are working. More specifically, these tests include blood tests, MRIs of muscle tissue, and biopsies that take a piece of the muscle fibers and see how well they are working. There is no cure for the distal myopathies.

Usually, distal myopathy is diagnosed based on a combination of clinical findings, patient history, and tests that look at how the muscles and nerves that affect those muscles are working. More specifically, these tests include blood tests, MRIs of muscle tissue, and biopsies that take a piece of the muscle fibers and see how well they are working. There is no cure for the distal myopathies. Treatment is aimed at improving the specific symptoms in each individual. Some treatments include physical and occupational therapy to help improve muscle strength, and sometimes braces or wheelchairs when walking is difficult. If you or your child has been diagnosed with distal myopathy, talk to your doctor about current treatment options.

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