In Focus: Straightening the Growing Spine
Payton Mueller's parents knew something was amiss by the time he was 9 months old. “Payton crawled really early,” recalls his mother, Rachele Krebsbach of Crosby, N.D. “He pulled himself up on furniture at 7-and-a-half months, and he was into everything a lot sooner than I had expected him to be. But then he just kind of stopped doing everything.”Read More
Front, Middle or Rear? Finding the Power Chair Drive System That's Right for You
Whether choosing your first power wheelchair or your next power wheelchair, picking the correct drive system for your needs is one of the first and most important decisions you’ll make.The location of the drive wheels (the wheels powered by the motor) in the rear, middle or front of the chair has a definite effect on the chair’s performance in different environments.Read More
Exon Skipping in DMD: What Is It and Whom Can It Help?
Exon skipping is a strategy currently being developed for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (although it may have application to other genetic diseases down the line) in which sections of genetic code are “skipped,” allowing the creation of partially functional dystrophin, the muscle protein missing in DMD.Read More
Gene Therapy Rescues Mice with SMA
Scientists at four U.S. institutions have successfully used gene therapy to treat very young mice with a disease resembling severe spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Study results were published online Feb. 28, 2010, in the journal Nature Biotechnology.Newborn mice that received the treatment demonstrated near-normal motor function (movement) and brain-to-muscle signaling, as well as a dramatic increase in length of survival, with most living upwards of 250 days as compared to untreated mice, which had an average life span of 15 days. (None of the treated animals have succumbed to SMA so far.)Read More
One Good Turn
When turning over in bed becomes difficult for a person with muscle weakness, usually two people suffer sleep deprivation — the “turnee” and the “turner,” or person who wakes up several times a night and helps with repositioning.Consequently, any sleep aid for people with mobility problems is a sleep aid for their caregivers as well. Although some sleep aids, such as alternating pressure mattresses or turning beds, can be pricey, they provide a two-for-one solution to a frustrating problem, and pay big health dividends over time.Read More
Give Me a Lift
You’re still transferring independently, but you’ve fallen a couple of times on your way from the wheelchair to the bed.Your caregiver still lifts you in and out of the bathtub, but her groans from back pain are getting louder.It’s time to start thinking about a mechanical or powered lift system that you can use at home, and maybe one for work, too.Read More
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MDA Resource Center: We’re Here For You
Our trained specialists are here to provide one-on-one support for every part of your journey. Send a message below or call us at 800-572-1717. If you live outside the U.S., we may be able to connect you to muscular dystrophy groups in your area, but MDA services are only available in the U.S.