Muscular Dystrophy, often called MD, is a set of genetic disorders causing muscle weakness, and affects thousands in the US. Despite its rarity, it contributes to hundreds of annual deaths, highlighting the need for increased research and better treatments. As it’s rare, it’s crucial to know as much about it as possible. The sooner you recognize this, the sooner it gets diagnosed and treatment can start.
What is Muscular Dystrophy?
Before we explain how Muscular Dystrophy is caused, and how you can recognize and treat it, it’s good to know what this disorder, or actually a group of genetic disorders, actually is. Well, imagine your body is like a machine with different parts working together. Muscular Dystrophy is a situation where some of the parts that help you move, the muscles, don’t work as well as they should. It’s a bit like a puzzle with missing pieces, making it harder for the machine (the body) to do things like running, jumping, or even holding things. This can happen in various ways, affecting different parts of the body.
Types & Causes of Muscular Dystrophy
As there are several types of Muscular Dystrophy, which affect different risk groups and parts of the body and are caused in different ways, it can be quite overwhelming and confusing to read everything and all the differences. To make it easier to understand, we’ve created the following table:
|Type of Muscular Dystrophy||Cause||Body Part Affected||Who’s at Risk|
|Duchenne MD||Genetic mutation in the dystrophin gene||Muscles throughout the body||Primarily affects males|
|Becker MD||Genetic mutation in the dystrophin gene||Muscles throughout the body||Primarily affects males|
|Myotonic MD||Genetic mutation affecting muscle function||Muscles throughout the body||Can affect males and females|
|Facioscapulohumeral MD||Genetic mutation impacting muscle structure||Face, shoulder, upper arm||Positive family history|
|Limb-girdle MD||Genetic mutations affecting various proteins||Shoulder, hip, pelvic girdle||Positive family history|
|Emery-Dreifuss MD||Genetic mutations affecting emerin or lamin proteins||Shoulders, upper arms, legs||Often inherited in families|
|Congenital MD||Genetic mutations affecting muscle development||Muscles throughout the body||Positive family history|
|Oculopharyngeal MD||Genetic mutation affecting muscle function||Eye muscles, throat muscles||Positive family history|
Continue reading on the next page and find out how you can recognize Muscular Dystrophy.