Kennedy's Disease Information Page

Kennedy's Disease Information Page


Search Disorders

What research is being done?

The NINDS supports a broad spectrum of research on motor neuron diseases, such as Kennedy's disease. Much of this research is aimed at increasing scientific understanding of these diseases and, ultimately, finding ways to prevent, treat, and cure them.

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Spinal Muscular Atrophy

×
What research is being done?

The NINDS supports a broad spectrum of research on motor neuron diseases, such as Kennedy's disease. Much of this research is aimed at increasing scientific understanding of these diseases and, ultimately, finding ways to prevent, treat, and cure them.

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Spinal Muscular Atrophy

The NINDS supports a broad spectrum of research on motor neuron diseases, such as Kennedy's disease. Much of this research is aimed at increasing scientific understanding of these diseases and, ultimately, finding ways to prevent, treat, and cure them.

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Spinal Muscular Atrophy


Definition
Definition
Treatment
Treatment
Prognosis
Prognosis
Clinical Trials
Clinical Trials
Organizations
Organizations
Publications
Publications
Definition
Definition

Kennedy's disease is an inherited motor neuron disease that affects males. It is one of a group of disorders called lower motor neuron disorders (which involve disruptions in the transmission of nerve cell signals in the brain to nerve cells in the brain stem and spinal cord). Onset of the disease is usually between the ages of 20 and 40, although it has been diagnosed in men from their teens to their 70s. Early symptoms include tremor of the outstretched hands, muscle cramps with exertion, and fasciculations (fleeting muscle twitches visible under the skin). Eventually, individuals develop limb weakness which usually begins in the pelvic or shoulder regions. Weakness of the facial and tongue muscles may occur later in the course of the disease and often leads to dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing), dysarthria (slurring of speech), and recurrent aspiration pneumonia. Some individuals develop gynecomastia (excessive enlargement of male breasts) and low sperm count or infertility. Still others develop non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Kennedy's disease is an x-linked recessive disease, which means the patient's mother carries the defective gene on one of her X chromosomes. Daughters of patients with Kennedy's disease are also carriers and have a 1 in 2 chance of having a son affected with the disease. Parents with concerns about their children may wish to talk to a genetic counselor.

×
Definition

Kennedy's disease is an inherited motor neuron disease that affects males. It is one of a group of disorders called lower motor neuron disorders (which involve disruptions in the transmission of nerve cell signals in the brain to nerve cells in the brain stem and spinal cord). Onset of the disease is usually between the ages of 20 and 40, although it has been diagnosed in men from their teens to their 70s. Early symptoms include tremor of the outstretched hands, muscle cramps with exertion, and fasciculations (fleeting muscle twitches visible under the skin). Eventually, individuals develop limb weakness which usually begins in the pelvic or shoulder regions. Weakness of the facial and tongue muscles may occur later in the course of the disease and often leads to dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing), dysarthria (slurring of speech), and recurrent aspiration pneumonia. Some individuals develop gynecomastia (excessive enlargement of male breasts) and low sperm count or infertility. Still others develop non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Kennedy's disease is an x-linked recessive disease, which means the patient's mother carries the defective gene on one of her X chromosomes. Daughters of patients with Kennedy's disease are also carriers and have a 1 in 2 chance of having a son affected with the disease. Parents with concerns about their children may wish to talk to a genetic counselor.

Treatment
Treatment

Currently there is no known cure for Kennedy's disease. Treatment is symptomatic and supportive. Physical therapy and rehabilitation to slow muscle weakness and atrophy may prove helpful.

×
Treatment

Currently there is no known cure for Kennedy's disease. Treatment is symptomatic and supportive. Physical therapy and rehabilitation to slow muscle weakness and atrophy may prove helpful.

Definition
Definition

Kennedy's disease is an inherited motor neuron disease that affects males. It is one of a group of disorders called lower motor neuron disorders (which involve disruptions in the transmission of nerve cell signals in the brain to nerve cells in the brain stem and spinal cord). Onset of the disease is usually between the ages of 20 and 40, although it has been diagnosed in men from their teens to their 70s. Early symptoms include tremor of the outstretched hands, muscle cramps with exertion, and fasciculations (fleeting muscle twitches visible under the skin). Eventually, individuals develop limb weakness which usually begins in the pelvic or shoulder regions. Weakness of the facial and tongue muscles may occur later in the course of the disease and often leads to dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing), dysarthria (slurring of speech), and recurrent aspiration pneumonia. Some individuals develop gynecomastia (excessive enlargement of male breasts) and low sperm count or infertility. Still others develop non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Kennedy's disease is an x-linked recessive disease, which means the patient's mother carries the defective gene on one of her X chromosomes. Daughters of patients with Kennedy's disease are also carriers and have a 1 in 2 chance of having a son affected with the disease. Parents with concerns about their children may wish to talk to a genetic counselor.

Treatment
Treatment

Currently there is no known cure for Kennedy's disease. Treatment is symptomatic and supportive. Physical therapy and rehabilitation to slow muscle weakness and atrophy may prove helpful.

Prognosis
Prognosis

Kennedy's disease is slowly progressive. Individuals tend to remain ambulatory until late in the disease, although some may be wheelchair-bound during later stages. The life span of individuals with Kennedy's disease is usually normal.

×

Kennedy's disease is slowly progressive. Individuals tend to remain ambulatory until late in the disease, although some may be wheelchair-bound during later stages. The life span of individuals with Kennedy's disease is usually normal.

Prognosis
Prognosis

Kennedy's disease is slowly progressive. Individuals tend to remain ambulatory until late in the disease, although some may be wheelchair-bound during later stages. The life span of individuals with Kennedy's disease is usually normal.

Definition

Kennedy's disease is an inherited motor neuron disease that affects males. It is one of a group of disorders called lower motor neuron disorders (which involve disruptions in the transmission of nerve cell signals in the brain to nerve cells in the brain stem and spinal cord). Onset of the disease is usually between the ages of 20 and 40, although it has been diagnosed in men from their teens to their 70s. Early symptoms include tremor of the outstretched hands, muscle cramps with exertion, and fasciculations (fleeting muscle twitches visible under the skin). Eventually, individuals develop limb weakness which usually begins in the pelvic or shoulder regions. Weakness of the facial and tongue muscles may occur later in the course of the disease and often leads to dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing), dysarthria (slurring of speech), and recurrent aspiration pneumonia. Some individuals develop gynecomastia (excessive enlargement of male breasts) and low sperm count or infertility. Still others develop non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Kennedy's disease is an x-linked recessive disease, which means the patient's mother carries the defective gene on one of her X chromosomes. Daughters of patients with Kennedy's disease are also carriers and have a 1 in 2 chance of having a son affected with the disease. Parents with concerns about their children may wish to talk to a genetic counselor.

Treatment

Currently there is no known cure for Kennedy's disease. Treatment is symptomatic and supportive. Physical therapy and rehabilitation to slow muscle weakness and atrophy may prove helpful.

Prognosis

Kennedy's disease is slowly progressive. Individuals tend to remain ambulatory until late in the disease, although some may be wheelchair-bound during later stages. The life span of individuals with Kennedy's disease is usually normal.

What research is being done?

The NINDS supports a broad spectrum of research on motor neuron diseases, such as Kennedy's disease. Much of this research is aimed at increasing scientific understanding of these diseases and, ultimately, finding ways to prevent, treat, and cure them.

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Spinal Muscular Atrophy

Patient Organizations
Kennedy's Disease Association
P.O. Box 1105
Coarsegold
CA
Coarsegold, CA 93614-1105
Tel: 855-532-7762
Muscular Dystrophy Association
National Office - 222 S. Riverside Plaza
Suite 1500
Chicago
IL
Chicago, IL 60606
Tel: 800-572-1717
National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)
55 Kenosia Avenue
Danbury
CT
Danbury, CT 06810
Tel: 203-744-0100; Voice Mail: 800-999-NORD (6673)
Publications

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) information page compiled by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).