Disease at a Glance

Summary
The congenital muscle dystrophies are currently classified according to the genetic defects. Historically, congenital muscular dystrophies were classified in two broad groups: Classic CMD (which included the Merosin-deficient CMD and the Merosin-positive CMD) and the CMD with central nervous system (CNS) abnormalities (Fukuyama CMD, muscle-eye-brain disease and Walker-Warburg syndrome). Therefore, merosin-positive congenital muscle dystrophy (CMD) is now considered an old term which refers to a group of diseases without structural brain abnormalities that are caused by a variety of genetic changes, resulting in protein defects that do not affect the merosin protein. It usually has a milder phenotype than the merosin-negative CMD dystrophy group and includes, among others: Classic CMD without distinguishing features Rigid spine syndrome associated with genetic changes in the selenoprotein N1 gene (SEPN1) CMD with hyperextensible distal joints (Ullrich type) CMD with intellectual disability or sensory abnormalities. The pattern of muscle weakness and wasting in the patients within this group of congenital muscular dystrophy conditions is worse in the proximal upper limb-girdle and trunk muscles. Lower limb muscles may be mildly involved. Muscle biopsy shows a dystrophic pattern with normal staining for dystrophin, laminin alpha-2 of merosin and the sarcoglycans.
Estimated Number of People with this Disease

This section is currently in development.

What Information Does GARD Have For This Disease?

Many rare diseases have limited information. Currently GARD is able to provide the following information for this disease:

*Data may be currently unavailable to GARD at this time.
Categories
When do symptoms of this disease begin?
This section is currently in development. 

Symptoms

This section is currently in development. We recommend speaking with a doctor to learn more about this disease. 

Causes

This section is currently in development. 

Next Steps

Talking with the Medical Team

Good communication between the patient, family, and medical team can lead to an accurate diagnosis. In addition, health care decisions can be made together which improves the patient’s well-being and quality of life.

Describing Symptoms

Describe details about the symptoms. Because there may be many different causes for a single symptom, it is best not to make a conclusion about the diagnosis. The detailed descriptions help the medical provider determine the correct diagnosis.

To help describe a symptom:

  • Use a smartphone or a notebook to record each symptom before the appointment
  • Describe each symptom by answering the following questions:
    • When did the symptom start?
    • How often does it happen?
    • Does anything make it better or worse?
  • Tell the medical team whether any symptoms affect daily activities

Preparing for the First Visit

Working with a medical team to find a diagnosis can be a long process that will require more than one appointment. Make better health decisions by being prepared for the first visit with each member of the medical team.

    Make informed decisions about health care: 
    • Prepare a list of questions and concerns before the appointment
    • List the most important questions first, not all questions may be answered in the first visit
    • Ask questions about symptoms, possible diagnoses, tests, and treatment options
    For future appointments:
    • Discuss what was not addressed at the last visit
    • Discuss changes in the quality of life for the patient, family, and caregivers
    • Discuss health goals and other issues in the patient’s and family’s life that may affect the health care decisions
    Take notes during the appointments to help remember what was discussed.

    Last Updated: Nov. 8, 2021