Is Myopathy Curable? Our Dulles Neurology Specialist Answers the Basic Questions
Myopathy is medically defined as the disease of the muscle. There are many causes and symptoms, but muscle weakness is one of its cardinal features. The prognosis for patients with myopathy varies from having little to no disability, to severely disabling or fatal. Early detection by Dr. Sarbjot Dulai, a Dulles neurology specialist is crucial to begin supportive treatment and protect one’s quality of life.
Myopathy: Definition, Diagnosis, and Treatment
Myopathy causes muscles to work much less effective than they should. This skeletal muscle disease occurs when the muscles fail to develop correctly, suffer from damage, or severely lack essential components.
Various Types of Myopathies
Due to abnormalities to metabolism and the muscular cell structure, a person with myopathy will experience patterns of muscle dysfunction and weakness. Numerous types of myopathies exist, such as:
- Inherited myopathies
This type of myopathy is caused by a genetic defect, such as the common Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy, which is caused by a chromosomal abnormality.
- Endocrine myopathies
Triggered by underproduction or overproduction of hormones. This type can develop in both adults and children, and tend to respond positively to treatment.
- Inflammatory myopathies
This type of myopathy occurs when the immune system wrongly attacks healthy tissue, otherwise known as an autoimmune disorder.
- Toxic myopathies
This type of myopathy occurs due to certain chemicals and medications. Skeletal muscle damage can also happen because of excessive alcohol intake. Some chemicals and drugs that cause toxic myopathy are cholesterol-lowering medication, anesthetics, narcotics, flame retardants, insecticides, and herbicides.
Symptoms of Myopathy
Symptoms vary greatly on the type of myopathy, although most myopathies manifest skeletal muscle weakness as a defining symptom.
Exceptions occur in some inheritable muscular disorders such as in paramyotonia congenita and myotonia. Instead of the muscles getting thinner and weak, the muscles become significantly large and extremely difficult to relax after contracting.
In most types of myopathy, the weakness is experienced in the upper arms, pelvis, shoulders, and thighs. During advanced stages, the hands and feet may start getting involved. Here are other warning signs that it’s time to consult a neurologist in Leesburg, VA:
Diagnosing myopathy involves rigorous stages including laboratory evaluation, multidisciplinary consultations, imaging studies, histologic examination, and genetic studies. During your appointment with Dr. Sarbjot Dulai here at Neurology Associates, you will undergo a series of careful diagnostic testing, neurologic history, and examination.
This can include a close physical evaluation, which will examine your balance, muscle strength, reflexes, and other factors. Laboratory tests, muscle biopsies, and other medical procedures may be required.
Treatment and Management
It is worth noting that myopathy usually ends up as a chronic disease. Treatment is multi-disciplinary and depends on the type of myopathy. The treatment plan can include immune suppressant agents, occupational and physical therapy, dietary management, cardiology, and even surgical treatment for long-standing cases with limb and spine deformities.
As a trusted neurologist in Leesburg, Dr. Dulai understands myopathies and will guide you from diagnosis to treatment. If you believe you or a loved one is afflicted with myopathy, call Neurology Associates at (703) 726-6393 and get started on the road to recovery.