Myopathy Congenital Treatment

Treatment of congenital myopathy often requires a team approach. Because of the variety of symptoms these diseases produce, feeling better may require the skills of a group of health professionals, including:

  • cardiologist
  • dermatologist
  • genetic counselor
  • neurologist
  • occupational therapist
  • orthopedic surgeon
  • orthopedist
  • physical therapist
  • pulmonologist
  • rheumatologist.

There is no cure for congenital myopathy, so congenital myopathy treatment is aimed at relieving symptoms and improving quality of life for patients. Treatments are tailored for each individual patient and condition.

The following are common treatment options for various types of congenital myopathy.

Behavior Modification

Some patients with congenital myopathy have episodes triggered by external situations, such as extended exercise or cold. Doctors can help patients to understand what triggers their symptoms and to avoid these situations. This congenital myopathy treatment method is safe and is very effective for people with certain myopathy conditions, such as Eulenberg’s disease.

Dietary Changes

Some types of congenital myopathy are associated with blood potassium levels that are either too high or too low. Symptoms of these myopathies can be managed safely and effectively through changes in diet designed by a health professional.

Exercise

In many types of congenital myopathy, doctors prescribe specific exercise. Exercise can:

  • help relax muscles
  • increase strength
  • relieve discomfort.

This is a very safe congenital myopathy treatment, as long as the exercise program is designed by a health professional who understands congenital myopathy. Exercise is often effective for those with Becker or Thompsen disease.

Medication

Medicine is often used to relieve symptoms of congenital myopathy. Medications commonly used to treat congenital myopathy include:

  • phenytoin (brand name Dilantin®)
  • quinine
  • various other anticonvulsant drugs.

While these drugs help reduce symptoms of congenital myopathy, some people may experience unpleasant side effects. Phenytoin may cause:

  • connective tissues complications
  • decreased coordination
  • dizziness
  • gastrointestinal symptoms
  • hemopoietic problems
  • insomnia
  • liver damage
  • tremors.

Quinine has side effects to almost all areas of the body. The most common of these effects is cinchonism, which is a cluster of symptoms including:

  • blurred vision
  • color perception disturbance
  • gastrointestinal distress
  • headache
  • nausea
  • sweating
  • tinnitus and hearing impairment
  • vasodilation
  • vertigo.

In more serious reactions, cinchonism may produce total loss of vision and hearing, and cardiac disturbances.

Orthopedic Support

Orthopedic support, such as walkers and braces, can help people with certain types of congenital myopathy such as central core disease and Nemaline myopathy, to maintain safe mobility. Support devices are safe and effective as a congenital myopathy treatment as long as they are professionally designed and maintained.

Orthopedic Surgery

In some congenital myopathies, such as central core disease, orthopedic surgery sometimes becomes necessary to maintain mobility. Each patient is unique, and the benefits and risks of surgery can be explained by your doctor.

Physical Therapy

Some types of congenital myopathy, such as central core disease and Nemaline myopathy, respond well to physical therapy. Physical therapy is a safe way to help maintain muscle strength and coordination.

Respiratory and Feeding Support

For patients with Nemaline myopathy, respiratory support is sometimes prescribed to prevent respiratory failure while sleeping. In infants with Nemaline myopathy and myotubular myopathy, respiratory support and a feeding tube are often both required to ensure survival.

Resources

Adviware Pty Ltd. (2007). Treatments for Congenital Myopathy. Retrieved January 10, 2008, from the Wrongdiagnosis.com Web site: http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/c/congenital_myopathy/treatments.htm.

Answers Corporation (2007). Myopathies. Retrieved January 10, 2008, from the Answers.com Web site: http://www.answers.com/topic/myopathy?cat=health.

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (2008). Congenital Myopathies. Treatment. Retrieved January 10, 2008, from the Mayoclinic.org Web site: http://www.mayoclinic.org/congenital-myopathies/treatment.html.

RxList, Inc. (2008). Dilantin. Side Effects and Drug Interactions. Retrieved January 10, 2008, from the RxList.com Web site: http://www.rxlist.com/cgi/generic/phenyt_ad.htm.

RxList, Inc. (2008). Quinine S04. Side Effects and Drug Interactions. Retrieved January 10, 2008, from the RxList.com Web site: http://www.rxlist.com/cgi/generic/quinine_ad.htm.