Muscular dystrophy is a broad term used to describe a group of more than 30 inherited genetic disorders characterized by progressive weakening and loss of muscle control. Muscular dystrophy arises as a result of mutations in genes that generate proteins responsible for building and maintaining muscle tissue.
Each type of muscular dystrophy is caused by a mutation in a different gene and has its own inheritance pattern. So, knowledge about genetics pertaining to each type of muscular dystrophy is crucial in informing patients about their disease and helps in assessing the risk of passing it to future generations.
What is genetic counseling?
Genetic counseling is the process of helping people better understand the medical, psychological, and familial implications of a genetic disease. It is performed by specialists known as genetic counselors or by clinicians trained in human genetics.
Genetic counseling for muscular dystrophy
Genetic counselors act as an interface between the patient and the clinician by recommending the appropriate genetic tests required to diagnose and confirm muscular dystrophy, along with helping to understand the results of such tests. Genetic counselors explain to patients and their healthcare providers the likelihood of the disease being passed to the next generation and can help with family planning.
An important aspect of genetic counseling is to offer emotional support to patients’ families. Counselors can provide referrals for community help groups and support services to help families cope with the strong emotions associated with having children or other family members with muscular dystrophy.
Muscular Dystrophy News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.