A group of diseases that weaken the muscles of the body, some forms of muscular dystrophy form during childhood, while others begin to appear later in life. These genetic disorders make it difficult to move and often result in the loss of the ability to walk. Currently, there is no cure available to stop or reverse the effects of these conditions, but physical therapy and speech therapy are often used to manage disabilities.
To take part in Muscular Dystrophy Awareness Month, learn more about some of the different diseases that are categorized under this title:
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
Both the most common and severe form of MD, Duchenne can be carried by females, but only affects boys. Symptoms usually begin before the age of six and progress rather quickly, with most children in need of a wheelchair before the age of 12.
Becker Muscular Dystrophy
A version of MD that is similar to Duchenne, symptoms of this disease appear in the teenage years and into adulthood. Heart, muscle and joint problems are common, but because of its slow progression, most individuals can carry out their life without a wheelchair.
Symptoms of Myotonic Dystrophy include an inability for muscles to relax and shrinkage of muscles over time. The most common adult form of MD, this disease affects 1 in every 8,000 people.
To learn more about Muscular Dystrophy and to help fight against these neuromuscular diseases, get active in your community through local muscle walks, 5K races and more. Visit MDA.org to get started and help make September a great month for Muscular Dystrophy research!