The term ‘myopathy’ relates to those disorders that affect skeletal muscles. As a result of myopathic diseases, the skeletal or voluntary muscles become weak. Basically, myopathic disorders cripple the movements of the affected person. Though generally degenerative, in certain cases, they might be caused as a result of drug side effects, chemical poisoning etc. In normal situations, myopathies are not fatal. However, in extreme cases, the affected person might get confined to a wheel chair.
On the basis of its major causes, myopathies are classified as inherited myopathies, inflammatory myopathies and those that are resulting from endocrine problems. Muscular dystrophy is also technically a form of myopathy but is comparatively more severe.
Inherited myopathies result from some kind of genetic disorder in one of the proteins that are essential for the normal functioning of the cells. Genetic myopathies include central core disease, myotonia congenita, nemaline myopathy, centronuclear (myotubular) myopathy, paramyotonia congenita, periodic paralysis and mitochondrial myopathies. They vary in symptoms and intensity. The irregularity that result in inherited myopathies will be present in genes in both recessive and dominant forms of inheritance. Myotubular myopathy is a rarely found form of centronuclear myopathy.
Congenital muscular dystrophy (CMD) is yet another form of this disorder that is characterised by general weakness and joint deformities. The symptoms of this disorder get spotted even during infancy. Central core disease is a gradual skeletal muscle disorder that is not life threatening. Myotonia congenital, mostly referred to as Thomsen’s disease, is a similar disorder that is non-progressive in nature. Paramyotonia congenital, becomes evident right at birth, and is characterized mainly by stiff muscles that are hard to be relaxed.
Becker muscular dystrophy is yet another form of this disease. In this case, the muscles are affected in much the same way but it might lead to heart complications. In most cases it get developed during adolescence. Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy affects children and young teenagers and progresses in a gradual manner. The above-mentioned types are but only a few of the common types of this disorder.