I was diagnosed approximately 2 yrs ago at age 51 with RRMS. I had searching for several years for a diagnosis with many symptom.
My current EDSS score is between 6.5-7.0, and I go from cane, roller, to wheel chair (manual and motorized) depending on level of function on any given day.
In researching my lineage for any family members who might have had MS, I found 7 family members who suffer(ed) with Muscular Dystrophy (MD). This finding included my Cousin, and (5-6) 2nd Cousins on my Fathers side of the family. There is also question if my Aunt might have also suffered from MD, although her spinal issues where never dx'd.
I was very curious if there is any data on findings similar to this? Would it be common to find a family with that high of a percentage of MD and my dx of MS?
The Muscular dystrophies (of which there are many different types) are very different diseases and easy to distinguish from Multiple Sclerosis. We know of no link between any of the muscular dystrophies and multiple sclerosis. The fact that you have many family members with MD simply confirms what we already know; the muscular dystrophies are inherited disorders and there are often many affected individuals in a given extended family
Although it is usually very easy to distinguish MS from a Muscular dystrophy, I have known of worse diagnostic mistakes. If you are concerned about a mistake in diagnosis why not discuss this with your current doctor. After all it is unusual for a person with your level of disability to be considered relapsing remitting MS. If your current doctor is unable to allay your concerns, why not see a neuromuscular specialist for a second opinion.
Revere Kinkel MD
Director of the UCSD Multiple Sclerosis Program