CONGENITAL MYOTONIC DYSTROPHY
When myotonic dystrophy symptoms manifest at birth, life-threatening complications ensue. However, once this critical period is past, improvement is likely during early childhood. In children with congenital myotonic dystrophy, the disease is almost excluvely transmitted by the mother, although her symptoms may be so mild that she didn’t even know she has the disorder. Babies with congenital myotonic dystrophy have very weak muscles and a lack of muscle tone (hypotonia). They appear floppy, have trouble breathing, and suck and swallow poorly. Club feet (a curvature of the feet and lower legs) are often present. Many of the muscle-related aspects of the disorder improve as the children mature. Although cognitive difficulties don’t improve, they generally do not worsen either, and children can learn when given the right tools, instruction and environment. Gastrointestinal complaints can occur.
When children with congenital myotonic dystrophy reach adolescence or adulthood, they usually will develop the adult form of myotonic dystrophy.
For more information, see the brochure congenitale vorm (in Dutch).