What is the Treatment of Kennedy Disease

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Feb 15, 2012

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Quick Bites

  • Currently there is no known cure for Kennedy's disease.
  • Treatment is symptomatic and supportive.
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation may prove helpful.
  • They help to slow muscle weakness and atrophy.

The defect is in the ‘X’ Chromosome and it makes testosterone almost a poison to the body. The disease is Spinal Bulbar Muscular Atrophy; more commonly known as Kennedy's Disease.

Since there is no treatment or cure for this defect, a boy will grow up not knowing when the disease will begin to attack his motor neurons and muscles. Often it begins with painful cramping and uncontrollable muscle spasms. Over time it will attack most of his muscles often making it difficult to even swallow liquids.

Some individuals living with KD do take medications prescribed by their medical doctor to help alleviate various symptoms. Others have reported that a smart (light) exercise program coupled with stretching helps.

Treatment of Kennedy Disease

Several neurologists confirm that light and ‘smart’ exercising is good for your muscles and motor neurons because it stimulates them and keeps them functioning longer. However, any type of activity that overly taxes your muscles could be detrimental to your condition. The key is to just do what the body feels comfortable doing. Never exceed your capabilities. The goal is to stimulate the healthy muscles and motor neurons without doing any harm to them.

Consult your physician for exercising that can help you manage your KD better. Remember, your first concern should be for your safety. Your second concern should be to 'do no harm'. Use the 70% Rule described above. If you feel pain during an exercise, discontinue that exercise for the day.

All the exercises prescribed by your doctor should be done under surveillance of a certified Physical Therapist. Several of those exercises are designed for someone with difficulty walking; or feels more comfortable in a wheelchair, but can still stand and transfer without assistance. Most exercises can be modified by adding light weights and by holding a position for a longer period of time.

Image: Getty

Read more articles on Kennedy’s Disease.



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