- Duchenne dystrophy, which is the most common
- Becker dystrophy, which is a milder form of Duchenne dystrophy
- Myotonic muscular dystrophy, which can begin in late adulthood
- Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy, which affects the muscles of the face, shoulder blades, and upper arms
- Congenital muscular dystrophy, which is diagnosed on or near birth and results in overall muscle weakness
- Distal muscular dystrophy, which affects the distal muscles of the lower arms, hands, lower legs, and feet
- Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy, which affects the muscles of the shoulders, upper-arms, and calf muscles
- Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy, which affects the muscles around the hips and shoulders
- Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy, which affects swallowing and the ability to keep the eyes open
- Family member with muscular dystrophy
- Sex: males are at increased risk for Duchenne dystrophy and Becker dystrophy
- Progressive weakening of muscles
- Enlargement of muscles as they weaken
- Muscle cramping
- Frequent falling and difficulty getting up
- Muscle contraction and stiffening
- Muscle deterioration
|Severe Muscle Contraction of the Hand|
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- Initial symptoms:
- Usually muscles closest to the trunk become weak first. Then, muscles further away weaken as the disease advances.
- Enlargement of calf muscles as they weaken
- Later symptoms
- Abnormally curved spine
- Respiratory infections
- Severe muscle deterioration, usually leading to use of a wheelchair
- Difficulty breathing
- Muscle contraction and stiffening—often severe
- Distortion of the body
- Reduced intelligence
- Difficulty letting go after a handshake
- Reduced intelligence
- Excessive sleeping
Physical Therapy and Exercise
- Corticosteroids to relieve muscle weakness in Duchenne muscular dystrophy
- Creatine supplements may reduce fatigue and increase strength
- Drugs for heart problems if muscular dystrophy affects the heart
- Have muscular dystrophy or a family history of the disease
- May be a carrier of the gene for muscular dystrophy
- Have a partner with a family history of the disease
Muscular Dystrophy Association http://www.mdausa.org
Muscular Dystrophy Family Foundation http://www.mdff.org
Canadian Institutes of Health Research http://www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca
Muscle Dystrophy Canada http://www.muscle.ca
Aartsma-Rus A, den Dunnen JT, et al. New insights in gene-derived therapy: the example of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Ann NY Acad Sci. 2010;1214:199-212.
Amato AA, Griggs RC. Overview of the muscular dystrophies. Handb Clin Neurol. 2011;101:1-9.
Congenital muscular dystrophy. Muscular Dystrophy Association website. Available at: http://mda.org/search/site/congenital. Accessed October 7, 2013.
Distal muscular dystrophy. Muscular Dystrophy Association website. Available at: http://mda.org/disease/distal-muscular-dystrophy. Accessed October 7, 2013.
Duchenne muscular dystrophy. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Updated March 15, 2013. Accessed July 25, 2013.
Emery-dreifuss muscular dystrophy. Muscular Dystrophy Association website. Available at: http://mda.org/disease/emery-dreifuss-muscular-dystrophy. Accessed October 7, 2013.
Escolar DM, Hache LP, et al. Randomized, blinded trial of weekend vs daily prednisone in Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Neurology. 2011;77(5):444-452.
Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy. Muscular Dystrophy Association website. Available at: http://mda.org/disease/fsh-muscular-dystrophy. Accessed October 7, 2013.
Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy. Muscular Dystrophy Association website. Available at: http://mda.org/disease/limb-girdle-muscular-dystrophy. Accessed October 7, 2013.
NINDS muscular dystrophy information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/md/md.htm. Updated February 14, 2013. Accessed July 25, 2013.
Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy. Muscular Dystrophy Association website. Available at: http://mda.org/disease/oculopharyngeal-muscular-dystrophy/overview. Accessed October 7, 2013.
- Reviewer: John C. Keel, MD
- Review Date: 06/2013 -
- Update Date: 10/14/2013 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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