Located in Owosso, Michigan, the neurology department at Memorial Healthcare offers expert care for patients with muscular dystrophy and other neurological conditions. Individuals can count on Memorial Healthcare’s medical team for diagnosis, treatment, and comprehensive health services. Neurological care is delivered through Memorial Healthcare Institute for Neuroscience in Owosso, MI.

What Is Muscular Dystrophy?

Muscular dystrophy is the name of a group of genetic diseases that affect the skeletal muscles. When an individual has muscular dystrophy, their muscles will shrink and become weaker over time, affecting their ability to complete everyday activities like getting dressed or going up and down the stairs. Muscular dystrophy is an inherited condition, so it’s passed down through a person’s genes.

There are several different types of muscular dystrophy, including:

  • Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD)
  • Congenital muscular dystrophies (CMD)
  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD)
  • Emery-Dreiffus muscular dystrophy (EDMD)
  • Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD)
  • Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD)
  • Myotonic dystrophy
  • Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy (OPMD)

Some forms of muscular dystrophy are apparent at birth; others develop during childhood or adulthood. The symptoms of muscular dystrophy include:

  • Muscle pain and weakness
  • Unusual gait or difficulty with walking or running
  • Stiff or loose joints
  • Scoliosis
  • Enlarged calf muscles
  • Breathing problems
  • Heart problems such as arrhythmia

Symptoms typically progress and become worse over time.

Diagnosing and Treating Muscular Dystrophy

Because there are several types of muscular dystrophy, thorough testing is key to an accurate diagnosis. In addition to a physical exam, diagnostic tests may include:

  • Blood work: A blood test can check for certain enzymes that indicate muscle disease.
  • Muscle biopsy: A doctor may take a small piece of muscle tissue for analysis.
  • Genetic testing: Blood tests can check for the genetic mutations that cause different types of muscular dystrophy.
  • Electromyography (EMG): This test uses an electrode needle to measure activity in the muscle tissue.

While there isn’t a cure for muscular dystrophy, certain treatments can help manage the symptoms of the disease. These include:

  • Physical and occupational therapy: These therapies can help a patient maintain their range of motion and strengthen their muscles.
  • Speech therapy: Some patients with muscular dystrophy have trouble swallowing. Speech therapy can mitigate this problem.
  • Medications: Steroid medications can help slow the progression of muscular dystrophy.
  • Assistive devices: Walkers and wheelchairs can help patients maintain mobility. Children with muscular dystrophy often can use splints or braces to support their muscles. Some patients also benefit from a pacemaker to treat heart problems related to muscular dystrophy.
  • Respiratory care: For patients with more advanced muscular dystrophy, respirators can help regulate breathing.
  • Surgery: Some muscular dystrophy patients benefit from surgery to correct scoliosis.

Patients may also be encouraged to implement lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, which can help support healthy heart and lung function.


Questions About Muscular Dystrophy Treatment?

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Memorial is such an amazing place with caring qualified professionals that go out of their way to ensure all of their patients are safe and satisfied! Such a gem in our community!
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Margaret Frey, DO

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819 N. Shiawassee Street
NOW Building - 1st Floor
Owosso MI 48867

Phone: 989-723-1390 Fax: 989-725-1415

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4200 Fashion Square Blvd, Suite 301
Saginaw, MI 48603

Phone: 989-729-4206 Fax: 989-729-4207

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Memorial Healthcare Institute for Neuroscience

Located in Owosso, MI, Memorial Healthcare Institute for Neuroscience is one of only three certified MDA/ALS Care Centers in the state. Under the direction of Dr. Margaret Frey, the center provides comprehensive services for patients with muscular dystrophy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), including:

  • Medical assessment and intervention
  • Neurological care
  • Mental health services
  • Occupational and physical therapy
  • Speech and language pathology
  • Support for maintaining health and adapting to changes in speech
  • Muscle strength and daily living skills
  • Information about local community resources
  • Information on medical trials and new medications
  • Considerations for future planning

Memorial Healthcare was one of the first hospitals in the state to administer drug therapy treatments for patients with ALS and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).

Neurology Providers at Memorial Healthcare

Memorial Healthcare Institute for Neuroscience is an employed physician practice of Memorial Medical Associates, a department of Memorial Healthcare. The experts at Memorial Healthcare Institute for Neuroscience are proud to provide the highest-quality neurological care. Patients may be treated by one of the following physicians:

Dr. Margaret Frey

Margaret Frey, DO, is a board-certified neurologist at Memorial Healthcare Institute for Neuroscience. Dr. Frey provides a wide range of neurology services, specializing in the treatment of complex epilepsy and muscular dystrophy. She has completed a fellowship in clinical neurophysiology and currently serves as the Medical Director of the MDA/ALS Care Center in Owosso, MI. Dr. Frey graduated from Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Dr. Dustin Nowacek

Dustin Nowacek, MD, an employed provider of Memorial Healthcare, is board-certified in neurology, neuromuscular medicine, and electrodiagnostic medicine. Dr. Nowacek attended medical school at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. He completed his residency and fellowship at University of Michigan Health System.

Memorial Healthcare Institute for Neuroscience is currently accepting new patients with most insurances.

Awards and Certifications

With more than 100 years of experience serving patients and families in MI, Memorial Healthcare’s expertise is backed by industry recognition for excellence in care. The hospital is accredited by The Joint Commission and received a four-star rating from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Get in Touch with Memorial Healthcare

Patients know they can count on the neurology team at Memorial Healthcare for quality and compassionate care in treating muscular dystrophy and other neurological conditions. With multiple satellite locations, Memorial Healthcare serves patients in Shiawassee, Bay, Ingham, Saginaw, and Clinton Counties. A not-for-profit hospital governed by an independent Board of Trustees, Memorial Healthcare’s providers see more than 200,000 outpatient visits each year. To more about our neurology services, contact us today.

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Obtain Muscular Dystrophy Treatment From Memorial Healthcare

To learn more about the Muscular Dystrophy services and available patient resources, contact us today.