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A 41-year-old member asked:

how did our ancestors on the prairie treat duchenne muscular dystrophy?

4 doctor answers12 doctors weighed in
Dr. Anatoly Belilovsky
Pediatrics 35 years experience
The treatment...: ...For dmd prolongs life somewhat but does not change the overall prognosis. The best thing we can do is provide moral support for the family and the patient in difficult times, and i don't know if we do that any better than our ancestors did.
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology 44 years experience
Wisely stated.
Apr 11, 2015
Dr. Mark Diamond
Pediatrics 46 years experience
They Didn't: Although today's treatment is very limited, our ancestors other than supportive devices, had no real therapy.
Dr. Hank Chambers
Pediatric Sports Medicine 39 years experience
Not well: Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a genetic disorder that is progressive and affects boys. There are new treatments including steroid treatment, but all of the children eventually succumb to their disease. In the old days and even in most of the developing countries of the world, duchenne's has a very poor outcome with most children dying in their late teenage years.
Dr. William Singer
Pediatric Neurology 51 years experience
Supportive care: Historically, our ancestors would have had no idea what is occurring to people with Duchenne MD. They would have offered supportive care. They would have had little knowledge of the cause of respiratory diseases, which are the main cause of death in DMD. They would have been perplexed by the wasting of the muscles and failure to get about.

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How can we tell our child about his muscular distrophy in a truthful but not frighteneing way?

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Gently and gradually: Children have the right to know when they have a problem, especially one as serious as muscular dystrophy. However, there are various types of MS that have quite different courses. Starting with validating the symptoms as "real" not imaginary can be a great first step. Making it clear they can ask questions and get real answers is the major goal.

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