Information for Patients
Your muscles help you move and help your body work. Different types of muscles have different jobs. There are many problems that can affect muscles. Muscle disorders can cause weakness, pain or even paralysis.
Causes of muscle disorders include
- Injury or overuse, such as sprains or strains, cramps or tendinitis
- A genetic disorder, such as muscular dystrophy
- Some cancers
- Inflammation, such as myositis
- Diseases of nerves that affect muscles
- Certain medicines
Sometimes the cause is not known.
Centronuclear myopathy Centronuclear myopathy is a condition characterized by muscle weakness (myopathy) and wasting (atrophy) in the skeletal muscles, which are the muscles used for movement. The severity of centronuclear myopathy varies among affected individuals, even among members of the same family.People with centronuclear myopathy begin experiencing muscle weakness at any time from birth to early adulthood. The muscle weakness slowly worsens over time and can lead to delayed development of motor skills, such as crawling or walking; muscle pain during exercise; and difficulty walking. Some affected individuals may need wheelchair assistance as the muscles atrophy and weakness becomes more severe. In rare instances, the muscle weakness improves over time.Some people with centronuclear myopathy experience mild to severe breathing problems related to the weakness of muscles needed for breathing. People with centronuclear myopathy may have droopy eyelids (ptosis) and weakness in other facial muscles, including the muscles that control eye movement. People with this condition may also have foot abnormalities, a high arch in the roof of the mouth (high-arched palate), and abnormal side-to-side curvature of the spine (scoliosis). Rarely, individuals with centronuclear myopathy have a weakened heart muscle (cardiomyopathy), disturbances in nerve function (neuropathy), or intellectual disability.A key feature of centronuclear myopathy is the displacement of the nucleus in muscle cells, which can be viewed under a microscope. Normally the nucleus is found at the edges of the rod-shaped muscle cells, but in people with centronuclear myopathy the nucleus is located in the center of these cells. How the change in location of the nucleus affects muscle cell function is unknown.
Nemaline myopathy Nemaline myopathy is a disorder that primarily affects skeletal muscles, which are muscles that the body uses for movement. People with nemaline myopathy have muscle weakness (myopathy) throughout the body, but it is typically most severe in the muscles of the face; neck; trunk; and other muscles close to the center of the body (proximal muscles), such as those of the upper arms and legs. This weakness can worsen over time. Affected individuals may have feeding and swallowing difficulties, foot deformities, abnormal curvature of the spine (scoliosis), and joint deformities (contractures). Most people with nemaline myopathy are able to walk, although some affected children may begin walking later than usual. As the condition progresses, some people may require wheelchair assistance. In severe cases, the muscles used for breathing are affected and life-threatening breathing difficulties can occur.Nemaline myopathy is divided into six types. In order of decreasing severity, the types are: severe congenital, Amish, intermediate congenital, typical congenital, childhood-onset, and adult-onset. The types are distinguished by the age when symptoms first appear and the severity of symptoms; however, there is overlap among the various types. The severe congenital type is the most life-threatening. Most individuals with this type do not survive past early childhood due to respiratory failure. The Amish type solely affects the Old Order Amish population of Pennsylvania and is typically fatal in early childhood. The most common type of nemaline myopathy is the typical congenital type, which is characterized by muscle weakness and feeding problems beginning in infancy. Most of these individuals do not have severe breathing problems and can walk unassisted. People with the childhood-onset type usually develop muscle weakness in adolescence. The adult-onset type is the mildest of all the various types. People with this type usually develop muscle weakness between ages 20 and 50.
X-linked myotubular myopathy X-linked myotubular myopathy is a condition that primarily affects muscles used for movement (skeletal muscles) and occurs almost exclusively in males. People with this condition have muscle weakness (myopathy) and decreased muscle tone (hypotonia) that are usually evident at birth.The muscle problems in X-linked myotubular myopathy impair the development of motor skills such as sitting, standing, and walking. Affected infants may also have difficulties with feeding due to muscle weakness. Individuals with this condition often do not have the muscle strength to breathe on their own and must be supported with a machine to help them breathe (mechanical ventilation). Some affected individuals need breathing assistance only periodically, typically during sleep, while others require it continuously. People with X-linked myotubular myopathy may also have weakness in the muscles that control eye movement (ophthalmoplegia), weakness in other muscles of the face, and absent reflexes (areflexia).In X-linked myotubular myopathy, muscle weakness often disrupts normal bone development and can lead to fragile bones, an abnormal curvature of the spine (scoliosis), and joint deformities (contractures) of the hips and knees. People with X-linked myotubular myopathy may have a large head with a narrow and elongated face and a high, arched roof of the mouth (palate). They may also have liver disease, recurrent ear and respiratory infections, or seizures.Because of their severe breathing problems, individuals with X-linked myotubular myopathy usually survive only into early childhood; however, some people with this condition have lived into adulthood.X-linked myotubular myopathy is a member of a group of disorders called centronuclear myopathy. In centronuclear myopathy, the nucleus is found at the center of many rod-shaped muscle cells instead of at either end, where it is normally located.