Care at diagnosis

The specific cause of a medical disorder is called the diagnosis. It is very important to establish the exact diagnosis when DMD is suspected by your doctor. The aim of care at this time should be to provide an accurate diagnosis as quickly as possible. With prompt diagnosis, everyone in the family can be informed about the general course of DMD, provided with genetic counselling and told of treatment options. Appropriate care can be put in place and ongoing support and education can be provided to the family. Ideally, diagnosis should be performed by a doctor who is a neuromuscular specialist and who can assess the child clinically and can initiate and interpret investigations properly. Family follow-up and support following diagnosis will often be supplemented by support from genetic counsellors.

Important facts to remember

  1. Getting a diagnosis is an important step so that you and your doctor can make plans for your son’s care.
  2. Doctors cannot diagnose DMD using only a CK test. If your son has elevated CK levels, your doctor will need to confirm the diagnosis using genetic testing.
  3. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Reach out to your doctor to answer any questions you may have and seek consultation from a genetic counsellor.
  4. This is also a time when contact with a support group or advocacy organisation can be of particular help. You can find lists of contacts at www.treat-nmd.eu/dmdpatientorganisations

Information based on consensus statement (published in January 2010)