Muscular Dystrophy (MD) is one area of a broader group of diseases known as Neuromuscular Diseases. Neuromuscular Diseases include not only the group of Muscular Dystrophies, but also Motor Neuron Diseases, Metabolic Diseases of Muscle, Diseases of the Peripheral Nerves, Inflammatory Myopathies, Diseases of the Neuromuscular Junction, Myopathies due to Endocrine Abnormalities, and a few other difficult to categorize Myopathies. Each of these groups in turn include several diseases with strong similarities.
Muscular Dystrophy itself is a hereditary disease that causes muscle weakness and dysfunction. As time progresses the symptoms will increase and affect multiple body systems. It will become difficult and almost impossible to perform simple activities, much less maintain employment.
Muscular Dystrophy is usually diagnosed as the result of a muscle biopsy. It can also be diagnosed through a DNA blood test. Currently, there is no known cure for MD. It is generally treated with bed rest, physical therapy, and occupational therapy.
Muscular Dystrophy is evaluated under Listing 11.13. Essentially, it is evaluated similarly to the residual effects of a stroke. Social Security will look for a “persistent disorganization of motor dysfunction.” This motor dysfunction can affect any extremity. While this is a listing level Impairment, most likely a finding of “Disabled” will be the result of exertional limitations. Because of this, it is important that your Doctor help identify those exertional limitations early on in the process.
For more information on Muscular Dystrophy check out www.mda.org. There you can make a donation and learn more about the disease.