The MDF went to Washington, DC, last week to represent the DM community and participate in the Rare Disease Legislative Advocates Conference and Lobby Day.
The Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation logo is a drawing of the grip test used by physicians as one method of detecting myotonia. Extending two fingers, the doctor asks his patient to squeeze them. If the patient is unable to relax a tight grip immediately and there is a slow and awkward release, there is reason to speculate that he or she has myotonic dystrophy. The doctor generally advises further testing through DNA analysis to confirm the presence of the disease.
The logo was conceived by Aaron Wilner, an architect at Lord, Aeck and Sargent in Atlanta, Georgia during a design competition within the office. Knowing nothing about the disorder, he researched it and studied many other medically oriented websites before developing this concept. Another architect within the office, Bogdana Frunza, helped to develop the design and served to finalize the image.
In addition to representing the grip test, the image of patient and doctor touching hands illustrates the importance of human connection and of patients and doctors working together in the treatment of the disorder.
The grip test is a simple diagnosis tool immediately available to physicians in every specialty, and can help shorten the diagnostic odyssey experienced by many DM patients. A simple squeeze in some cases can lead to a correct diagnosis that might otherwise take years.