There is no known cure for muscular dystrophy. Corticosteriods may slow the destruction of muscle tissue in persons with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and phenytoin, procainamide, or quinine is used to treat delayed muscle relaxation in myotonic muscular dystrophy. Supportive measures and exercises can improve the quality of life and preserve mobility for as long as possible. Scientists have begun to identify the genetic abnormalities responsible for multiple dystrophy and hope that further understanding will lead to treatment. Genetic screening is recommended for all family members who might be carriers. Prenatal tests such as chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis can detect some forms of muscular dystrophy early in a pregnancy.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.