Diagnosed as bipolar and autistic while still a child, Bridget Morris grew up with a host of developmental problems. That’s why, when she was tested for Friedreich’s ataxia (FA) at age 10, her mother, a nurse, was “very cavalier.”
Bridget had muscle tightness, weakness and scoliosis (a curved spine), her handwriting was worsening, and she had begun to fall and walk with a “wide” gait to steady...
When Kayla Prather was 8 years old, she began having trouble with her balance. Her mom took her to a pediatrician, who tested her reflexes and found she didn’t have any.
More tests followed, including one of Kayla’s DNA, and the diagnosis of Friedreich’s ataxia (FA) was confirmed.
Featured in this issue: News about clinical trials in Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, Pompe disease and myotonic muscular dystrophy type 1
Staying ahead of the curve
You hope it won't be necessary, but it often is: surgery to correct scoliosis, a lateral (side-to-side) curvature of the spine. Scoliosis can occur in almost any neuromuscular condition in which back muscles, which normally keep the spine straight, weaken, but it's particularly common in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).
Setting the record straight
"I've had a lot of different surgeries for a lot of different problems," says Todd Palkowski of Franklin, Wis. "Not all of them have been successful. But this one works."