Different Types And Signs of Muscular Dystrophy

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

This is the most common type of muscular dystrophy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that one out of every 5,600 to 7,700 [2] males between ages 5 and 24 has Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The disease majorly affects boys. Even though girls may carry the genetic mutation, they rarely develop the disease. When they do the effects are comparatively milder.

The symptoms often begin in early childhood. Duchenne muscular dystrophy progresses more rapidly than the other types of muscular dystrophy. By the time affected children become teenagers, most already require a wheelchair. Most children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy do not live longer than their late teens and early twenties. Symptoms include [3]:

  • Difficulty walking and poor posture
  • Loss of reflexes and frequent falls
  • Difficulty breathing and swallowing
  • Abnormal curving of the spine (scoliosis)
  • Muscle pain and stiffness
  • Delayed growth
  • Lung and heart weakness
  • The bone gets thinner
  • Calf muscles may appear larger than normal
  • Gait becomes more waddling
  • Learning difficulties