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What is Muscular Dystrophy | Symptoms & Causes | Treatment

Muscular Dystrophy

Muscular dystrophy (MD) is a group of muscle diseases, that weaken the musculoskeletal system (such as: bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, soft tissues) and hamper locomotion. Muscular dystrophies are characterized by progressive skeletal muscle weakness, defects in muscle proteins, the death of muscle cells and tissue. 

The boys who grew progressively weaker, lost the ability to walk, and died at an early age. In the following condition, the French neurologist Guillaume Duchenne gave a comprehensive account of the teen boys with the most common and severe from the disease.  

Types of Muscular Dystrophy

Apart from that the nine major types of muscular dystrophy listed below:

  • Becker’s muscular dystrophy 
  • Congenital muscular dystrophy 
  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy 
  • Distal muscular dystrophy 
  • Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy 
  • Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy 
  • Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy 
  • Myotonic muscular dystrophy 
  • Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy 

These diseases predominantly (mainly) affect males, although female may be carriers of the disease gene. The most types of muscular dystrophy (MD) are multi-system disorders with manifestation in body systems including the heart, gastrointestinal system, nervous system, endocrine glands, eyes, and brain. 

Several muscular dystrophies (MD) like condition have also been identified, normal intellectual and behavioral. Muscular dystrophy (MD) affected individuals with susceptible intellectual impairment are diagnosed through molecular characteristics but not through in problem associated with disability. 


  • Cognitive impairment, behavioral, vision and speech problems 
  • Progressive muscular wasting 
  • Poor balance (feel like, the room is spinning or you’re going fall down) 
  • Atrophy 
  • Scoliosis (curvature of the spine and the back) 
  • Inability to walk 
  • Frequent falls 
  • Wadding gait 
  • Calf deformation 
  • Limited range of movement 
  • Respiratory difficulty 
  • Joint contractures (shortening and hardening of muscle, tendons and other tissue) 
  • Cardiomyopathy (disease of the heart muscle) 
  • Arrhythmias (irregular or rapid heartbeat and rhythm of heartbeat) 
  • Muscle spasms 


These conditions are generally inherited, and different muscular dystrophies follows various inheritance patterns. However, the mutation of the dystrophin gene and nutritional defects (without genetic history) prenatal stage are also possible about 33 % of people affected in muscular dystrophy. 

The main cause of Duchenne and Becker types of muscular dystrophy is the muscle tissue’s cytoskeletal impairment to properly create the functional protein dystrophin and dystrophin-associated protein complex. 


  • The diagnosis of muscular dystrophy is based on the result of muscle biopsy, increased creatinine phosphokinase, electromyography, electrocardiography, and DNA analysis.
  • A physical examination and patient’s medical history will help the doctor determine the type of muscular dystrophy; specific muscle groups are affected by different types of muscular dystrophy.
  • Some types of muscular dystrophy cause a buildup of fat and connective tissue makes the muscle appear larger is called pseudohypertrophy. 


The prognosis for people with muscular dystrophy according to the type and progression of disorders.  

Some cases may be mild and progress very slowly in normal lifespan, while others produce severe muscle weakness, functional disability, and loss of ability to walk. 

Some children with muscular dystrophy die in infancy, while others live into adulthood with only moderate disability. 


  • Physical therapy
  • Assistive devices
  • StemCells therapy
  • Medications
  • Surgery 


  • Prednisone
  • Deflazacort
  • Albuterol
  • Anabolic steroids
  • Calcium blockers  
  • Gentamycin 

It’s also a genetic disorder, there’s no cure for muscular dystrophy (MD), but medication and therapy can help manage symptoms and slow the course of the diseases.

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