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Efforts to treat muscular dystrophy continue

The recent passing of legendary comedian, actor, singer, producer and director Jerry Lewis left many throughout the United States in mourning. But, it also created a renewed interest in one of Lewis's passions, working to fundraise for muscular dystrophy research. Many consider Lewis as much a humanitarian as an entertainer, based on his continued efforts to address the disease.

Muscular dystrophy typically affects boys starting when they are around three to five years of age. Symptoms are first noticed in their hips, pelvic area, thighs and shoulders, but may also extend to the arms, legs and trunk of the body after, ultimately affecting the heart and respiratory muscles as well.

The disease is caused due to a lack of dystrophin in the body, which is a protein that helps keep muscles in the body sturdy. With the absence of dystrophin, the muscles become weakened and fragile, making them vulnerable to damage. In the past, the devastation of muscular dystrophy was catastrophic, with victims seldom living beyond their teenage years. Recent advances in technology and treatments however now have helped victims live well into their thirties, with some even living into their 40s or 50s.

Muscular dystrophy is one of the many illnesses that are covered by Social Security Disability. A victim who is unable to work may seek out benefits to help provide some form of financial relief while dealing with the disability. The application process is not always easy, especially for victims who are suffering from a debilitating disease. It may be helpful to reach out to a firm familiar with Social Security Disability for assistance.

Source: The Muscular Dystrophy Association, "Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy," Aug. 21, 2017

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