Monitor Effects of Muscular Dystrophy Treatments with a Smartphone

As we have talked about before, new innovations beyond handicap vans are continuously being introduced for mobility and easier accessibility.

As for some diseases that cause limited mobility, there is unfortunately no cure, making these innovations very beneficial to those with these diseases.

We all hope that someday there will be a cure for muscular dystrophy, but until that is possible, doctors and researchers continue to find medication and technology to make living with muscular dystrophy more manageable.

Muscular Dystrophy causes the loss of tissue and all the muscles in the body to weaken. Muscles are pervaded with fat cells, which is what weakens them, while progressively gets worse over time.

Steroids are usually given to manage muscular dystrophy as it slows down muscle degeneration. Although as with most medications you take, there are usually some negative side effects. Steroids tend to have more serious effects, such as weight gain, mood changes, high blood pressure, diabetes, thinning of the skin, poor wound healing and increased susceptibility to infection.

Since steroids have so many side effects, you don’t want to take a higher dose than what it necessary to be effective. What if you could take the least amount of medication for maximum effect? This is why being able to monitor the effectiveness of your medication can be extremely beneficial.

Michael S. Hughes of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, WA and other researchers are currently working on a way to monitor the effectiveness of the medication by simply using your smartphone or tablet.

How will this work? By having an ultrasound technique incorporated in your handheld device. This will allow your device to recognize differences in muscles.

Multiple studies have been done as they are becoming closer and closer to making this innovation reality.

“If we can optimize the processing, we can increase the sensitivity and provide real-time performance. People with muscular dystrophy have to take the least amount of steroid that will give them the maximum therapeutic effect. This would let them do that,” said the team of researchers.

Stay tuned for updated information on future studies.

Would being able to monitor your medication be helpful to you? Share your thoughts!

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