Muscular dystrophy is a disease in which muscles may actually stop working after a point. It is characterized by weakness in muscles of the body which degenerate and stop functioning eventually.
Muscles require protein to be healthy -- not protein as in food but protein which the body actually creates. This function is actually performed by the genes which instruct the body how to generate protein.
What chromosome is affected in muscular dystrophy?
Those affected with muscular dystrophy do not have this advantage; the genes either have wrong information or leave out important information. The body is unable to make protein. It is caused by chromosome 19, one of the autosomes.
There are many types of muscular dystrophy (MD). It could manifest itself either early or late in life. The common types are Duchenne and Becker MD which generally affect only boys.
Duchenne MD affects children between 3 to 6 years old. Muscles in the arms, legs arms and pelvic become progressively weaker. They have trouble in walking. Early symptoms manifest themselves by trouble in walking, running or climbing stairs. There is also difficulty in breathing, feeding oneself and trouble with the heart.
Becker MD on the other hand, takes a long time to weaken muscles. The problem, thus, starts in the teens or in adulthood.
Muscular dystrophy is generally hereditary. It is due to the genes being passed down. The children that suffer from it do not look different from others. It is at a later stage that they find difficulty in walking and muscle control. Muscle weakness is permanent, unlike temporary fatigue that a normal person faces Even the brain can be affected causing learning problems.
Myotonic dystrophy results from a gene flaw in one of the autosomes, chromosome 19. The defective gene is for an enzyme recently named myotonin protein kinase. Some researchers believe the defect may affect other nearby genes
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