Muscular Dystrophy: All You Need to Know

Muscular dystrophy is amongst a group of conditions that make muscles less flexible and weaker over time. These conditions are caused by several problems in the genes that are responsible for controlling how the body keeps muscles strong and healthy.

For several people, according to a pediatric orthopedic surgeon in Islamabad, this disease starts in early childhood. And some people do not develop any symptoms until they are middle-aged adults or teenagers.

How muscular dystrophy affects a child depends on its kind. Most children’s conditions will get worse with the passage of time, and some children may lose the ability to talk, walk, or care for themselves. However, this severe condition does not happen to everyone. Other children or adults can live with mild symptoms for many years.

How is Muscular Dystrophy Based on Different Things?

There are almost thirty kinds of muscular dystrophy, and each kind is based on the following things:

  • The genes responsible for causing it
  • How quickly does this disease gets worse
  • The age when the symptoms of muscular dystrophy first appear
  • The muscle it affects

What are the Different Types of Muscular Dystrophy?

Children or teenagers usually get one of nine major forms of muscular dystrophy:

  1. Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Duchenne muscular dystrophy, also known as DMD, is a genetic disorder characterized by weakness and progressive muscle degeneration due to the alteration of a protein known as dystrophin, responsible for keeping muscle cells intact. It is the most common form of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and it usually affects boys and starts between ages three and five.

  1. Becker Muscular Dystrophy

Becker muscular dystrophy also called BMD or Becker MD is a kind of muscular dystrophy, a genetic problem that gradually makes the muscles of the body smaller and weaker. This disease causes less severe problems than Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Becker muscular dystrophy also affects boys. However, its symptoms start later-between ages eleven and twenty-five.

  1. Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy

Myotonic muscular dystrophy is a genetic disorder that causes progressive muscle weakness and loss. In this disease, muscles do not relax after contraction. This disease is the most kind in adults. Myotonic muscular dystrophy can affect both men and women, and it starts when people are in their twenties.

  1. Congenital Muscular Dystrophy

Congenital muscular dystrophy, also known as CMD, refers to a kind of dystrophies that become apparent near birth. This disease is a degenerative disease that primarily affects voluntary muscles. Congenital muscular dystrophy can also start shortly after birth.

  1. Limb-girdle Muscular Dystrophy

Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy is a group of diseases that cause wasting and weakness of the muscles in the legs and arms. Proximal muscles are affected mostly, specifically muscles of the thighs, shoulders, upper arms, and pelvic area.

  1. Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy

 Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy is a muscle problem characterized by muscle wasting (atrophy) and weakness. This disease gets the name Facioscapulohumeral because it affects muscles of the upper arms, shoulders, and face. This condition can affect anyone from teenagers to adults in their forties.

  1. Distal Muscular Dystrophy

The distal muscular disease is a rare disease that affects your muscles. This disease causes weakness in the lower legs and arms, then it may spread to the other parts of the body. It may affect the muscles of the feet. Usually, this disease comes in later life, between ages forty and sixty.

  1. Oculopharyngeal Muscular Dystrophy

Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy, also known as OPMD, is a rare genetic problem. This disease causes weakness in the muscle around the eyelids and part of the throat known as the pharynx. It also can cause weakness in the muscles of the shoulder, neck, and face, followed by dysphagia (difficulty swallowing).

  1. Emery-Dreifuss Muscular Dystrophy

Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy is a problem that affects the muscles, joints, and heart. Joint symptoms are present in children and involve contracture of the ankles, elbows, and neck. Usually, adults and children with this disease slowly experience worsening wasting and weakness.

What are the Symptoms Associated with Muscular Dystrophy?

For almost every type of muscular dystrophy, symptoms start in children or teenagers. In general, children may experience:

  • Weak muscles
  • Often fall down
  • Muscle cramps
  • Trouble while getting up, running, jumping, or climbing stairs
  • Walk on the waddle or toes

Some children may also experience:

  • Vision problems
  • Droopy eyelids
  • A curved spine
  • Heart problems
  • Trouble swallowing or breathing
  • Weakness in the face muscles

What Causes Muscular Dystrophy?

Muscular dystrophy can pass on from family members such as the father or mother, or you may be the first to have it. This disease is caused by several problems in your genes.

Genes are responsible for containing information the cells need to make proteins that control different functions in the body. When there is a problem in the genes, then they can make the wrong protein, a damaged protein, which may lead to muscular dystrophy.


Muscular dystrophy can be a severe and chronic disease; therefore, it is essential to treat the symptoms associated with it as soon as possible, when they show up.

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By Cary Grant

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