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MDF community members reported on the impact of myotonic dystrophy on the brain from their individual perspectives as people living with DM1, DM2 and as caregivers. Additional insights and comments were provided by members of the conference audience.

Dr. Melissa Dixon of the University of Utah discusses mental health challenges and symptoms sometimes experienced by people living with DM, and strategies for coping with everything from depression to anxiety and 'brain fog' From the 2017 MDF Annual Conference.

Dr. John Day of Stanford University presents an overview of brain-related DM impacts that can affect sleep, and current thinking regarding strategies to manage this very prevalent DM symptom. From the 2017 MDF Annual Conference.

Chad Heatwole, MD, MS-CI, of the University of Rochester (presentation); Sarah Howe of the Marigold Foundation (

Ben Gallais, PhD, of Université de Sherbrooke, and Sarah Tighe, MD, of the University of Iowa, discuss common emotional health problems often associated with chronic illnesses such as myotonic dystrophy and how to address these symptoms.

MDF Fellows Ayal Hendel, PhD, Stanford University (presentation); Suzanne Rzuczek, PhD, Scripps Research Institute of Florida (

Dr. Chad Ruoff of the Stanford Center for Sleep Science and Medicine discusses common sleep issues associated with myotonic dystrophy, and ways to manage these symptoms.

This breakout session focuses on DM and sleep disorders. It is presented by Dr. John Day, M.D., Ph.D., of Stanford University, and Dr. Belen Esparis, M.D., Mt. Sinai Sleep Disorders Clinic.

As the inaugural presentation in our Living with DM Webinar series, we discuss the decline of executive function in the CNS due to myotonic dystrophy, as well as strategies for managing this symptom, and an update on current CNS research.

John W. Day, M.D., Ph.D., Stanford University of Medicine

John W. Day answers questions from the audience. 

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