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Care Tools Research

Darcy Trill, RDHAP, mobile dental hygenist who specializes in the treatment of people with disabilities and special needs in their homes, provides a compelling overview of the risks of ignoring dental health for DM patients, and strategies for achieving and maintaining oral health.

New data is available on the frequency, progression and treatment of GI symptoms in DM1 and DM2.

A recent study corroborated increased susceptibility to cancer in DM1, for women in particular, and linked the elevated risk to depressed levels of a tumor suppressor microRNA (miRNA). 

Although up to 25% of people with myotonic dystrophy report that gastrointestinal symptoms are their most troubling issue, we still understand little about their cause. MDF Fellow Dr. Melissa Hinman at the University of Oregon is tackling this issue with Dr. Andy Berglund of the University of Florida using zebrafish models.

In this webinar, Kari Lane, RD, CNSC, Clinical Dietitian at the University of Utah, discusses nutritious diets to maintain heart and GI health for people living with myotonic dystrophy.

Community-led session presented by Regina Thompson and Jessica Nussbaum. Two caregivers discuss different ways of preparing food for those with dysphagia.

Cynthia Gagnon, PhD, OT, of the Université de Sherbrooke, discusses ways to modify daily living activities to best benefit those living with DM.

Linda Nguyen, MD, of Stanford University, discusses GI health as it relates to myotonic dystrophy, and ways to combat these symptoms.

Accurate diagnosis is critical when treating GI symptoms in people with myotonic dystrophy.

Careful assessment of the digestive tract is essential to relieve symptoms and to avoid secondary effects and complications. Gastrointestinal symptoms often develop gradually so that patients adopt compensatory mechanisms and consequently avoid necessary examinations.

Congenital DM1


  • Accumulation of amniotic fluid in the mother caused by reduced ingestion of amniotic fluid by the fetus (polyhydramnios)


Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms that result from dysfunction of alimentary tract skeletal or smooth muscles are common. They can be a disabling and potentially serious feature of myotonic dystrophy (DM). Common GI symptoms include:

...What emergency interventions should be followed? Does chewing food a lot help food go down easily? Does drinking lots of liquids with a meal help? Any particular type of liquid?

...Are these related to the following: a) digestion, b) type of food eaten, c) muscles not working properly? How can these problems be treated?

A discussion of the signs and symptoms of dysphagia, a swallowing disorder, as well as the different muscles that can be affected by this DM symptom.

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