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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Kennedy disease


Other Names for this Disease

  • Bulbospinal muscular atrophy
  • SBMA
  • Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy
  • Spinobulbar muscular atrophy
  • X-linked bulbospinal amyotrophy
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Your Question

I have Kennedy disease. Lately, I've had trouble coughing up phlegm. I've also been hoarse and at times have a weak and raspy voice. An ENT told me two years ago that I have lost some elasticity in my larynx. Does Kennedy disease cause these types of problems?

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

Does Kennedy disease affect the lungs?

While Kennedy disease does not impair the lungs themselves, the disease can weaken the muscles involved in breathing and coughing. As your respiratory muscles become weaker, you may find it more difficult to bring up phelgm and maintain clear airways.[1][2]

The Muscular Dystrophy Canada has developed a guide on respiratory care for people with neuromuscular disorders that gives further detailed information on this topic. You can view a PDF copy of this guide at the following link:
http://www.muscle.ca/fileadmin/National/Muscular_Dystrophy/Respiratory_Care/RC13guide-E_finalWEB.pdf
Last updated: 7/22/2014

References
Other Names for this Disease
  • Bulbospinal muscular atrophy
  • SBMA
  • Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy
  • Spinobulbar muscular atrophy
  • X-linked bulbospinal amyotrophy
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.