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Muscular dystrophy

by Alivia Nyhan

A muscular dystrophy is a group of genetic diseases that cause muscle weakness and muscle loss. The most common form of muscular dystrophy, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, affects 1 in 3,500 boys. A mutation in the dystrophin gene causes Duchenne muscular dystrophy. This gene mutation results in the absence of dystrophin, a protein essential for muscle function. Muscle weakness in Duchenne muscular dystrophy is progressive and leads to muscle loss and eventual paralysis. There is no cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, but there are treatments that can help improve quality of life.

Who might get muscular dystrophy?

Muscular dystrophy can happen to anyone, but it’s most common in boys. It’s usually diagnosed in childhood, but some types don’t appear until adulthood.

What are the types of muscular dystrophy?

There are many types of muscular dystrophy, each with different symptoms and age of onset. The most common type of muscular dystrophy is Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which primarily affects boys and typically leads to death in young adulthood. Other types of muscular dystrophy include Becker muscular dystrophy, facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy, and myotonic dystrophy.

Becker muscular dystrophy: Becker muscular dystrophy is a form of muscular dystrophy that primarily affects boys and young men. The condition is caused by a mutation in the dystrophin gene, which produces an abnormal form of dystrophin protein.

Muscle atrophy: Muscle atrophy is a common symptom of muscular dystrophy and is caused by the deterioration of muscle tissue. This can lead to weakness and deformity, making everyday walking and eating difficult.