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Types of Muscular Dystrophy


There are nine forms of MD including:

  1. Myotonic:  affects both men and women. Myotonic dystrophy is the most common form of Muscular Dystrophy affecting adults. The incidence is approximately one in every 8,000 worldwide. Symptoms include muscle spasms and wasting, particularly in the head and neck. Characterized by muscle weakness, and problems with the ocular, cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, metabolic and endocrine systems.
  2. Duchenne (DMD):  most common form of MD found in children. Studies indicate that Individuals diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy are wheelchair users before the age of 12 and the incidence of DMD is approximately one in 3500 live male births.  The typical age of onset is between two and six.
  3. Becker:  caused by mutations in the same Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy gene. Becker Muscular Dystrophy has later onset. It affects the same muscles as Duchenne muscular dystrophy. BMD occurs in about one in 30,000 male births. The typical age of onset is between two and 16.
  4. Limb-girdle (LGMD):  affects both men and women. Symptoms of LGMD include muscle weakness around the hips, shoulders, arms and legs. Research identifies several forms of LGMD. The typical age of onset is in adolescence.
  5. Congenital:  has two forms including Fukuyama and Congenital Muscular Dystrophy. Characteristics of Fukuyama Muscular Dystrophy include:  cardiomyopathy, neuronal migration defects, and mental retardation, epilepsy and eye abnormalities like optic atrophy.
  6. Facioscapulohumeral (FMD):  affects both men and women. It is characterized by muscle weakness in the face, shoulders, and upper arms. The prevalence FMD is approximately one out of every 20,000 people and it affects approximately 13,000 people within the United States.
  7. Oculopharyngeal (OPMD):  affects both men and women. OPMD has symptoms including weakness in the eye muscles and throat. The age of onset of this form of MD occurs between the ages of 40 and 50.
  8. Distal:  affects men and women. This form of MD does not appear until Individuals are forty to sixty years old. It affects the muscles of the hands, forearms, lower legs, and feet.
  9. Emery-Dreifuss:  affects males. This form of MD is characterized by contractures in the ankles, knees and other joints. Contracture starts to occur before muscles start to weaken. The typical age of onset is between the ages of 10 to 25.

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