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Kennedy’s Disease, Symptoms, Affects, Diagnosis, Treatment and Preventive Measures

Table of Contents

  1. Kennedy’s Disease
  2. Symptoms of Kennedys Disease
  3. Destruction caused by the Kennedy’s disease
  4. Kennedys Disease Affects Males
  5. The Androgen Gene
  6. Diagnosis of Kennedy’s disease

Kennedy’s Disease

Kennedy’s disease is a neuromuscular disorder that is inherited and known to cause the weakening and loosening of muscles mostly of legs and arms. In addition to this other symptoms of Kennedy’s disease are severe cramps, swallowing and problems during speech. The progress of the disease is very slow but the expectancy of life is almost normal. It is also recognized as general X-linked (SBMA) spinal bulbar muscular atrophy. Up till now there is no regular treatment available for it and treatment depends on the symptoms.


It is now believed that most of the females who inherit particular gene are carriers while men having the gene are known to develop the symptoms. But in rare cases the infected women may develop the symptoms.

Symptoms of Kennedys Disease

There are many symptoms associated with Kennedy’s disease and usually appears at the age between 30 and 50. The common symptoms include:

  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Difficulty in speech
  • Tremoring of hands
  • Uneven shaking of muscles during special postures
  • Weakening of muscles
  • Twitches of muscles
  • Muscles spasms and craps
  • Enlargement of the calf muscles due to constant cramp
  • Numbness in specific areas
  • Absence of reflexes like foot remained still during tapping of knee cap
  • Gynaecomastia which is known as enlargement of breast tissues
  • Reduction in the production of sperms
  • Testicles remained shrunken
  • Little or no sex drive


Destruction caused by the Kennedy’s disease

Movement of muscles along with nerves is directly controlled by brain. The path of muscle movement control can be elaborated as through the upper motor neurons which are located on the upper surface of the brain, leading towards the spinal cord and then ends up in to the lower motor neurons. Every muscles adjoin with almost 50 to 200 lower neurons and in return the neurons are further subdivided in to many branches known as dendrites. The ending of these branches is known as pre-synaptic terminal. These branches interpret the signals through chemical known as acetylcholine. This chemical induce the muscle tissues to contract and respond the signal.


Kennedys diseases results in the reduction of motor neuron cells. During this decay of cells the brain cells which supply the bulbar muscle also decay and destroy. The effect of this decay can be easily seen in the form of swallowing of the throat, speech and breathing problems because these muscles control the throat.

Kennedys Disease Affects Males

The characteristic of humans are the 46 chromosomes, among these two chromosomes are related with the gender while 44 decides the other factors. An embryo always receives an X chromosome from mother while father contribute either an X chromosome in case of female while Y chromosome in case of males. Kennedy’s disease is caused due to mutation on the X chromosome specifically on the androgen located on X chromosome.


As it is already known that the disease is recessive so in case of female the other chromosome dominate and the effects of this disease are minimized and women are not likely to show any symptoms. While in case of having a pair including XY chromosome as only single X chromosome is present and Y chromosome don’t have the ability to hinder the effects of X chromosome so males are more reluctant to this disease.

The Androgen Gene

The function of the androgen receptor gene is to control all the activity of the male sex hormone the androgen. This in turn explain the effects of androgen insensitivity such as impotence, low sperm production and breast enlargement. However it is still a mystery that why gene mutation in that particular case causes the other Kennedys related symptoms.

Diagnosis of Kennedy’s disease

It is often misdiagnosed because disease is recessive. In some cases it is treated as a common motor neuron disorder, which is commonly known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis a progressive nervous system disorder in which nerves are break down especially in the spinal cord and in the brain.

It can be diagnosed with the help of different test which include:

Blood Test: It is necessary to check the elevated serum creatine kinase (CSK). It is noted that people having Kennedy’s disease have increased level of this enzyme in their blood.

Genetic Test: the fundamental of this test to figure out the whether the individual is carrying the gen causing the Kennedy’s disease or not even if the individual is asymptotic or carrier still there is a need to council properly.

Treatment for Kennedy’s disease

Up till now there is no cure and treatment of Kennedy’s disease because toddy’s science doesn’t know how to regenerate these muscle neurons. The treatment depends on the symptoms because we can minimize symptoms but unable to cure the disease properly.


  • There are medicines available which will help you to minimize the muscle cramp and tremors.
  • You need proper rest and always avoid exhaustion it will help you in a number of ways to minimize the disease.
  • Always use health and balance diet which must contain the necessary ingredients.
  • Perform gentle aerobic exercises on regular basis and make it your habit to perform these exercises on each day.
  • Often stretch your muscle so that you are able to reduce the muscle cramps
  • Do pain management so that you can minimize your pain
  • Perform speech therapy, this can be easily done in front of your friends or in front of a mirror.
  • Additionally you can also do occupational therapy.
  • Consult a physiotherapist who will definitely guide you about specific therapy which will minimize muscle cramp.

We would like to say that no need to avoid the affected individuals as this is just inherited disease and not a contaminated disease. Proper exercises are the only care for it. You can’t get rid of it completely but by controlling your diet and daily activities you can easily minimize the daily effects of this disease. Keep working and visiting gyms this will be beneficial for you.

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You can get more information from the links below–Kennedy_syndrome

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