7th September: Duchenne’s World Awareness Day
September 7 is Duchenne’s World Awareness Day to raise awareness among the world’s population of this neuromuscular disease caused by DMD. It iluminates red buildings and monuments around the world.
Guillaume Duchenne de Boulogne, 1806-1875, was a French physician who with the British physician Edward Meryon described Duchenne’s muscular discord (DMD). Using the mricroscope to study healthy muscles and those with disease.
What is Duchenne muscular dystrophy?
Duchenne muscualr dystrophy (DMD) is a genetic and degenerative disease that primarily affects muscles. It is more common in boys and manifests in early chilhood. Those affected experience progressive muscle weakness that can affect their mobility, breathing ability and overall quality of life.
World Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Awareness Day aims to raise pulic awareness of this disease and its challenges, as well as to highlight the importance of medical research amd support for affceted individuals and families.
- The main symptoms of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) are as follows:
- Weakness of the pelvic girdle in the infancy stage (from 2 or 3 years of age).
- Rearward torso.
- Loss of gait between 10 and 13 years of age, aggravating muscular involvement including the cardiac muscle. From adolescence onwards, they usually require respiratory assistance.
- Progressive loss of walking ability, difficulty in getting up or running.
- Deterioration of the respiratory capacity and the cardiac muscle.
This disease requires an interdisciplinary treatment in which the whole health team is involved, being rehabilitation one of its fundamental pillars. As regards pharmacological treatment, corticosteroids can reduce its progression, with very good results. In addition, in some specific cases, other treatments can be applied.
Thanks to these treatments, the life expectancy of people affected by Duchenne disease has increased significantly. This is why it is of vital importance to pay attention to their symptoms and to consult a pediatrician for an early detection of the disease.