Muscular Dystrophy (MD)


This is the name we give a group of diseases that cause your muscles to weaken over time. There are more than 30 types of muscular dystrophy. They affect the body in different ways.


What causes muscular dystrophy? You inherit it from your parents. With muscular dystrophy, you have a change in your genes. This change keeps your body from making proteins you need for healthy muscles.


What are the symptoms? Well, that depends on the type of muscular dystrophy you have. Your legs may be affected. You may have muscle pain, stiffness and falls. You may feel clumsy. You may have trouble running, jumping and walking up stairs. Over time, you may lose the ability to walk. Muscular dystrophy can affect other body parts, too. It may weaken the muscles of your arms or face. You can also have complications like a curving of your spine (called "scoliosis"), heart problems, breathing problems and other issues. Your symptoms can begin when you're a baby. They could begin in childhood, or even later in life.


How do we treat it? There is no cure for muscular dystrophy. We treat your symptoms with medications and therapy. Devices like braces and mobility aids can help you stay active and independent. We can also correct some complications of the disease with surgery. Your doctor will create a plan that's right for you.