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Detailed Information About Muscular Dystrophy

Published on Sep 04, 2019   -  6 min read


Muscular dystrophy is a group of genetic muscular disorder, which causes progressive muscle weakness and degeneration. Learn about the different types and symptoms.

Detailed Information About Muscular Dystrophy

What Is Muscular Dystrophy?

A group of diseases that result in loss of muscle mass, which eventually causes loss of strength, is called muscular dystrophy. This is caused due to the lack of a protein called dystrophin, which is needed for healthy muscle. There are various types of muscular dystrophy, and each type affects different age groups. There is no known cure for this disease, and medications, physical therapy, and surgery might help manage symptoms and slow the progression.

The prognosis depending on the type and severity of illness. Most patients are not able to walk eventually and require assistance. Muscular dystrophy commonly affects young boys than girls.

What Are the Types of Muscular Dystrophy?

As there are more than 30 types of muscular dystrophies, I have listed the most common types:

What Are the Symptoms of Muscular Dystrophy?

The symptoms depend on the type of muscular dystrophy.

What Causes Muscular Dystrophy?

Dystrophin, which is a protein produced by specific genes, protects the muscles from damage. In muscular dystrophy, mutations on the X chromosome prevents the body from producing dystrophin. Different mutations are seen in different types of muscular dystrophies. Dystrophin helps anchor various components of muscle cells together and links them all to the outer membrane. In its absence, this process is affected, which disrupts the outer membrane. This also weakens and damages the muscle cells.

The symptoms are severe if dystrophin is almost absent. The largest known gene in humans is the gene coding for dystrophin, and more than 1,000 mutations in this gene have been identified so far.

What Are the Complications of Muscular Dystrophy?

The complications associated with muscular dystrophy are:

How Is Muscular Dystrophy Diagnosed?

Your doctor might suggest you undergo the following tests after conducting thorough medical and physical examinations.

How Is Muscular Dystrophy Treated?

Treatment aims to prevent or reduce symptoms, as there is no cure. The treatment options include:




The symptoms and complications caused by muscular dystrophy depends on the type and severity of the disease. To know more about this disease, consult a doctor a doctor online.


Frequently Asked Questions


What Is Duchenne muscular dystrophy?

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is the most common type of muscular dystrophy. It is caused by mutations in the gene that encodes the protein dystrophin. Here, this protein is almost absent, so the symptoms are severe. It affects boys more commonly than girls.


How common is muscular dystrophy?

Muscular dystrophy is a very rare condition, amongst which, Duchenne muscular dystrophy is the most common type. It affects approximately 1 in every 5000 to 7000 males between the ages of 5 and 24 years.


How do you get muscular dystrophy?

Muscular dystrophy results from mutations on the X chromosome, as it prevents the body from producing dystrophin. Dystrophin is a protein produced by specific genes, which protects the muscles from damage.


How long can you live with muscular dystrophy?

The prognosis and life expectancy of a person suffering from muscular dystrophy depend on the type and severity of the disease. People with milder symptoms live a normal life with a few disabilities. In other severe forms that leads to severe muscle wasting, weakness, and heart problems, patients usually die in the early or late 20s.


Is muscular dystrophy painful?

Yes. Muscular dystrophy can result in painful and stiff muscles and joints.


Is muscular dystrophy progressive?

Yes. Muscular dystrophy is a progressive disease. It starts with muscle weakness, which can become worse and result in muscle wasting and loss of mass.


Does muscular dystrophy affect the heart?

Yes, some forms of muscular dystrophy do affect the heart. It causes changes in the heart muscles, which results in arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythm), congestive heart failure, and cardiomyopathies.


Does muscular dystrophy affect your brain?

The myotonic and Fukuyama types of muscular dystrophy are known to affect the brain and central nervous system. They can result in memory problems, mental retardation, and seizures.


Can females get muscular dystrophy?

Girls are usually carriers of the gene that causes muscular dystrophy, but generally do not produce any symptoms.


Does Muscular dystrophy run in families?

Yes, it does run in families. If one or both parents have this disease or if the mother is a carrier, it is likely that the child also has muscular dystrophy.

Last reviewed at:
04 Sep 2019  -  6 min read




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