Myotonia congenita (patient information)
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Myotonia congenita On the Web
What are the symptoms of Myotonia congenita?
The hallmark of this condition is the myotonia -- the inability of the muscle to quickly relax after contracting. For example, after a handshake, the person is only very slowly able to open and pull away his hand.
Early symptoms may include:
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Stiff movements that improve when they are repeated
- Shortness of breath or tightening of the chest at the beginning of exercise
What causes Myotonia congenita?
Myotonia congenita is believed to be caused by a problem in the part of the muscle cells that are needed for muscles to relax. Abnormal repeated electrical discharges occur in the muscles, causing a stiffness called myotonia.
Who is at highest risk?
When to seek urgent medical care?
Treatment for symptoms includes:
Where to find medical care for Myotonia congenita?
What to expect (Outlook/Prognosis)?
People can do well with this condition. Symptoms only occur when a movement is first started. After a few repetitions, the muscle relaxes and the movement becomes normal. Symptoms may improve later in life.
- Aspiration pneumonia caused by swallowing difficulties
- Frequent choking, gagging, or difficulty swallowing in an infant
- Abdominal muscle weakness
- Chronic joint problems