Muscular Dystrophy & SSDI

According to the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke, muscular dystrophies (MD) refer to more than 30 different genetic diseases, all of which involve “progressive weakness and degeneration of the skeletal muscles that control movement.” Some people will show signs of MD as early as childhood, or even at infancy, while other people won’t show signs of MD until they are in their 50s or beyond. The various disorders affect the muscles differently, and some of them even affect the cardiac muscle. The most common form of MD is Duchenne MD, which affects boys more than girls. This form of MD involves the absence of dystrophin, which is an important protein that helps maintain muscle integrity. Usually, the disease appears between the ages of 3 and 5 and by the time the child reaches the age of 12, the rapidly progressing disorder has made them unable to walk. Later on, such children will need a respirator in order to breathe. Becker MD and Facioscapulohumeral MD are two other forms of MD that are commonly associated with children and teens. Adults on the other hand, are frequently diagnosed with Myotonic MD, which is characterized by:

  • Cataracts
  • Cardiac abnormalities
  • Endocrine disturbances
  • Prolonged muscle spasms

Adults who have Myotonic MD develop drooping eyelids, thin faces and swan-like necks. Unfortunately, there is no medical technology that stops or reverses MD. Treatment options include: speech therapy, respiratory therapy, orthopedic surgery, respiratory therapy, physical therapy, and the use of orthopedic appliances. Drug therapies include:

  • Anticonvulsants for seizures
  • Antibiotics to help the body fight respiratory infections
  • Immunosuppressants to delay the damage caused by dying muscles

Due to the severity of MD, it is included on the Social Security Administration’s Adult Listing of Impairments under neurological disorders. If you have been diagnosed with MD, you may want to consider applying for Social Security Disability sooner than later. To learn more about applying for SSDI, we urge you to contact our firm to meet with a Dallas Social Security Disability attorney.

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