Mcardle’s Disease : Inheritance, causes, symptoms, treatments

McArdle’s disease is an inborn upset featured as a deficiency or complete missing of phosphorylase enzyme. It is also called glycogen storage disease. This disease is transferred in an autosomal recessive pattern and badly affects skeletal muscles. It was discovered by Dr. McArdle.

McArdle disease (GSD 5) is an uncommon, hereditary muscle problem. It is a sort of glycogen stockpiling illness. It results from an absence of a key substance that the muscles need to separate glycogen into sugar (glucose) for energy.

Related Conditions and Diseases

• Type VI Glycogen Storage Disorder Type III
• Glycogen Storage Disorder Type IV
• Glycogen Storage Disorder Type VII


  • It is a recessive genetic disease in which the parents must have a copy of the mutated gene. There are 25% chances of this disease if the parents are carriers.
  • It means that children will get this disease. If the carrier is only parent having mutated gene, then there are more chances of rate of carrier in the child.
  • Generally, symptoms did not arise in the Carriers, but the defected is passed into next generation. If people have family of this disease, they should pass the genetic counseling procedure.

Causes of Mcardle’s Disease

McArdle’s disease occurs when mutations take place in the enzyme which is involved in the specific isoform muscles of the glycogen phosphorylase enzyme.

This enzyme performs a vital role in the beginning of glycolysis where monomers of glucose 1-phosphate release in the fibers of muscles.

As a result, metabolism of the carbohydrates in the skeletal muscle is become problematic, and the energy cannot be produced from the glycogen deposits stored in the muscles.

This enzyme become inactive due to the mutations in the PYGM gene on chromosome 11 and 13. The mutation occur on the eons of gene 1 and 17.

Dr. McArdle’s described in 30-year-old man who severe pain and weakness after exercise. Upon ischemic exercise, he noticed that the cramps electrically silent and lactate levels did not increase.

This is very identical to the phenomenon that is produced when the muscle filled by acetate. Lactate is a substance that stops the breakdown of glycogen into glucose. It also stops the formation of lactate.

Symptoms of Mcardle’s Disease

The symptoms start an early age of life. But, it’s very difficult to identify these symptoms from in the early normal children life. The diagnosis of the disorder is not very easy until the patients reach 20 or 30 years old.

  • Red-colored urine
  • Fatigue
  • Poor Exercise intolerance
  • Regular Muscle cramps
  • Severe Muscle pain
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Acute Muscle weakness
  • If symptoms arise after 10 minutes of exercise, this phenomenon is called second-wind phenomenon.


  • Phosphorylase is the main enzyme involved in glucose metabolism regulation in muscles. It removes chains of 1-4 glycosyl from the glycogen and binds phosphates chains to produce glucose 1 phosphate.
  • During glycogen metabolism, muscles produce glucose-1-phosphate, not glucose. The former molecule mutated and it disintegrates in the cell.
  • PYG (gene) becomes active when it is phosphorylated by the enzyme phosphorylase.
  • Glycogenolysis in the liver is initiated by Glucagon and adrenaline, and they first bind to the receptors of G-protein first. The controlling pathway behind this process has many steps.

Diagnosis of Mcardle’s Disease

  • At the beginning of the hard physical activity, McArdle’s disease displays signs, while fatty acid oxidation defects (deficiency of carnitine palmitoyltransferase II) and mitochondrial myopathies display symptoms much later over a prolonged period of exercise.
  • In addition, complications of oxidation of fatty acids suggest their symptoms under stress such as fasting, fever, and infections.
  • Early Observation Suspected incidents of arm exercise test results. There is no production of pyruvate and lactate, as the glycogenolysis mechanism does not operate.
  • Using a sphygmomanometer, the forearm test is done and, when the meter is inflated, constant exercise is performed for one minute. The meter is released, and the lactate and ammonia levels at the beginning and end of the cuff are registered.
  • There is a three-fold rise in lactate and ammonia while the body is in good condition, but the lactate level in these disorders is very profound.
  • The sensitivity in both ischemic and non-ischemic tests is much greater, since a typical test outcome indicates the likelihood of a glycogenolysis defect.
  • The consistently elevated serum creatinine kinase enzyme l is a symbolic symptom of McArdle’s disorder.

 The following tests may be performed:

  • Gene testing
  • Lactic acid accumulation blood in blood
  • MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging)
  • Muscle biopsy (tissue examination)
  • Myoglobin discharge in urine
  • Plasma ammonia content
  • Serum creatinine kinases presence
  • Genetic tests for to determine mutations in the disease
  • To check the efficiency of the muscles, use Electromyography
  • Arm exercise procedural tests
  • Muscle biopsy to observe the muscle cells


McArdle’s disease cannot be cured because it is a genetic disease.

  • There are no acceptable guidelines for people with McArdle’s disease to be healed. Yet there is something significant that can be taken to reduce this disorder.
  • Stop useless lifestyle procedures.
  • Many patients remain away by not engaging in vigorous exercise, but this can get worse when serum creatinine kinases increase during inactivity of the body.
  • It can also be seen by the reduced potential of muscles to reduce the blockage of glycogenolysis by using alternative fuels.
  • In addition, the expression of proteins essential for metabolism and calcium hemostasis in resting muscles is stated to be decreased.
  • Gives constructive physical workout treatment at a moderate-intensity level.
  • In certain patients, a healthy and well-regulated weight-lifting approach often improves the severity of symptoms.
  • A sugar-rich meal preparation activity requires different dietary fibers that have beneficial benefits. The usual signs of exercise intolerance are like consuming a drink containing 75 g of sugar for 40 minutes before exercise.
  • A diet rich in carbohydrates results in far better outcomes than a diet high in protein.
  • For certain patients, some dietary agents are also beneficial, but do not promise compelling results such as long-chain amino acids, glucagon preparation deposits, heavy verapamil, sodium consumption, sufficient vitamin B6, high dose of D-ribose, and high intake of creatinine.
  • Cautious attention to a diet high in carbohydrates.
  • Take Dietary Creatinine Supplements.
  • Feed or drink the amount of sucrose recommended before and during exercise.
  • Proper schedule for aerobic workouts.
  • Take vitamin B-6.
  • Other medications, such as opioid inhibitors.


Most of the patients who fall victim to McArdle’s disease have a normal life. Patients utilize the 2nd wind phenomenon and fall victim to the syndrome due to their own fault.

Only a few patients are known to have progressive and worse symptoms with the increase in age.


Patients of McArdle’s disease have a stable duration of disease until the patient does not exercise hard, resulting in extreme contractions and acute breakdown of muscle.

This weakening of the muscles causes blood and urine to release myoglobin, and acute renal failure can occur.

Enhancing healthcare team outcomes

  • Type V glycogen storage disorder is an autosomal recessive disease, and patients should be made aware of future trends of inheritance and expected risks.
  • Homozygous individuals have strong symptoms, but heterozygous people possess faulty genes and pass them on to their descendants.
  • In such cases, a thorough interview with a genetic counselor is necessary. If required, the carrier’s relatives (particularly siblings) should be informed of the genetic tests.
  • The autosomal recessive legacy indicates that the parents are the carriers of the disorder and have no symptoms whatsoever.
  • Each sibling has a probability of 1 in 4 being faulty, 1 in 2 being a carrier, and 1 in 4 being safe and non-carrier.

Leave a Comment