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Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

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The Wheelchair For sufferers of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is a global disease, one of the 9 unsparing, more common childhood forms of muscular dystrophy, affecting every 1 out of every 3,500 boys ("Muscular Dystrophy"). It is caused by the absence of a gene in the body, preventing the body from manufacturing a specific protein in the body by the name of Dystrophin, which keeps muscle cells intact, and maintains the muscles strength. The gene for Dystrophin is on the X-chromosome, making it an X-linked recessive disease, affecting mainly males, who inherit it from their mothers. Females usually are carriers of the disease, but show no symptoms. Dystrophin is part of the dystrophin- glycoprotein complex, which helps the body to anchor the structure of the human skeleton within the muscle cells, through the membrane of each muscle cell, to the tissue lining that surrounds each muscle cell. When any component is lacking in this system, any muscle contraction will lead to the disintegration of the membrane of the outer cells, therefore leading to the permanent weakening and perishing of the human muscles. Symptoms become evident in early childhood (2-6 years old), when a child begins walking, as the pelvic muscles begin to weaken, and a wheelchair is required for the affected child when the child reaches the age of about 10-12 years. ...read more.


The mass of the wheelchair and the person in it is noted as (m), and the acceleration of the wheelchair will be noted as (a). According to Newton's first law, the wheelchair is in equilibrium, at acceleration 0. When the assistant pushes the wheelchair, the acceleration of the wheelchair, will be directly proportional to the applied force, as stated in Newton's second law. The wheelchair has many advantages including its lightweight, where it is easier to push by the sufferer of DMD, and the person helping to push the person. So the assistant pushing the wheelchair will be at ease while pushing the wheelchair, and the sufferer of DMD will easily move around, and not tire his/her muscles, since they are already weakened by DMD in the first place. Its cost is very cheap, less than other pieces of physical aid like electrical wheelchairs and scooters. Since it's a global disease, everyone all over the world, in developed countries or undeveloped will suffer from DMD, so all sufferers will be able to purchase wheelchairs. It's easy to transport, and take to places, since it can be folded up easily and moved around, so the sufferer will be able to go virtually anywhere, with no difficulty. ...read more.


While the wheelchair is improving and developing, some moral and ethical considerations should be kept in mind, like keeping the original idea of the wheelchair in mind when creating all of the new gadgets and power buttons to create modernized wheelchairs, like TV installations and built in-phones, when all that is needed is a smooth-running wheelchair that can go anywhere. These gadgets that are being installed in modern wheelchairs I think, makes the disabled feel more impaired than they already are, since they can watch TV like normal people, and they can talk on the phone like normal people, and when all these gadgets are installed, the impaired will feel discriminated. Without the wheelchair, the disabled would be physically unable to do anything, so they will spend their lives doing nothing when they can be accomplishing so much in the limited amount of time that DMD sufferers have. Without the wheelchair, William Rinaldi, who was diagnosed with DMD, would not have become a successful teacher and Governmental Administrator. He was the first wheelchair user in the history of elementary, secondary, college and graduate school. Without the wheelchair, the disabled would have no rights to perform anything. ...read more.

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