2006 Jan 26 [Updated 2019 Jul 3]. 2015;24(5):1267-79. Some forms of muscular dystrophy are diagnosed in infancy or childhood, while the symptoms of others may not start in adults until they reach middle age. Get our printable guide for your next doctor's appointment to help you ask the right questions. Gene therapy is poised to revolutionize how Duchenne is treated, but there are still some problems with this approach that need to be solved. Myotonic MD also causes myotonia—the prolonged stiffening of muscles (like spasms), and it’s a symptom that only occurs in this form of the disease. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK1436/. Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a genetic condition characterized by progressive weakening of voluntary muscles. J Med Genet. The different types of muscular dystrophy can vary in terms of who they affect, which muscles they affect, and what their symptoms are. Muscle weakness often affects the legs and pelvis, and slowly gets worse. It’s typically diagnosed in children ages 3 to 5, and it progresses rapidly, eventually leaving those diagnosed unable to walk by their early teens and, later, requiring a respirator to breathe. However, it tends to be less severe and progress more slowly than DMD, and is usually diagnosed in teens and young adults. Becker muscular dystrophy is very similar to DMD, except that the symptoms of Becker MD can appear later in youth—up until as late as 25. Although similar to DMD, symptoms of Becker MD progress slower than those of DMD. How Is Muscular Dystrophy Diagnosed? Duchenne dystrophy — Symptoms usually begin between ages 2 and 4. Certain types of MD may cause the heart to work less efficiently, and some people may require pacemaker or defibrillator placement. Sign up for our Healthy Living Newsletter! The muscle diseases defined as distal muscular dystrophy have similar symptoms of weakness of the forearms, hands, lower legs, and feet. These diseases, including subforms Welander, Maskesbery-Griggs, Nonaka, and Miyoshi, are less severe and involve fewer muscles than other types of muscular dystrophy. Some children with congenital muscular dystrophy die in infancy, but others live into adulthood with only mild disability. Drooping eyelids are typically the first sign of this form of dystrophy. The condition then progresses to facial muscle weakness and difficulty swallowing. Another type of muscular dystrophy that may strike adults is facioscapulohumeral dystrophy (FSHD). DMD worsens more rapidly than other types of … Lovering RM, Porter NC, Bloch RJ. However, unlike DMD, contractures—muscle shortening—may appear earlier in life. This form progresses slowly. Steve Way advocates for universal healthcare, disability rights, and more film roles for disabled actors.  No matter what your level of disability, a yoga practice is possible and offers mental and physical benefits.  This quick alphabetical guide will help you feel more confident when talking about muscular dystrophy with your doctor and loved ones. An electrode needle is inserted into the muscle to be tested. There also is some weakness of arm and neck muscles. J Community Hosp Intern Med Perspect. What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy? As its name suggests, the disease primarily affects muscles of the hips and shoulders, resulting in gradual muscle weakness in those areas. Toussaint M, Davidson Z, Bouvoie V, Evenepoel N, Haan J, Soudon P. Dysphagia in Duchenne muscular dystrophy: practical recommendations to guide management. The disorders differ in which muscles are primarily affected, the degree of weakness, how fast they worsen, and when symptoms begin. Other common signs of muscular dystrophy include: Scoliosis (sideways curved spine) Seattle (WA): University of Washington, Seattle; 1993-2019. How Is Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Diagnosed? Myotonic dystrophy is the most common adult form of muscular dystrophy. Depending on the type, the onset of disease varies. MD can lead to changes in the brain that lead to learning disabilities. Continuum (Minneap Minn). In muscular dystrophy, abnormal genes (mutations) interfere with the production of proteins needed to form healthy muscle.There are many different kinds of muscular dystrophy. Damaged muscles release enzymes, such as creatine kinase (CK), into your blood. Symptoms of DMD and muscular dystrophy in children may include: Like DMD, Becker muscular dystrophy is also caused by dystrophin deficiency. Mobility becomes challenging, and some people may need an assistive device, like a cane, walker, or wheelchair, to walk. Muscle weakness remains the prime symptom of muscular dystrophy. 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