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Becker muscular dystrophy

  • Alternative Names

    Benign pseudohypertrophic muscular dystrophy; Becker's dystrophy


    There is no known cure for Becker muscular dystrophy. The goal of treatment is to control symptoms to maximize the person's quality of life. Some doctors prescribe steroids to help keep a patient walking for as long as possible.

    Activity is encouraged. Inactivity (such as bed rest) can make the muscle disease worse. Physical therapy may be helpful to maintain muscle strength. Orthopedic appliances such as braces and wheelchairs may improve mobility and self-care.

    Genetic counseling may be recommended. Daughters of a man with Becker muscular dystrophy may carry the defective gene and could pass it onto their sons.

    Support Groups

    You can ease the stress of illness by joining a support group where members share common experiences and problems.

    See: Muscular dystrophy - support group

    Expectations (prognosis)

    Becker muscular dystrophy leads to slowly worsening disability, although the degree of disability varies. Some men may need a wheelchair, while others may only need to use walking aids such as canes or braces.

    • Heart-related complications such as cardiomyopathy
    • Lung failure
    • Pneumonia or other respiratory infections
    • Increasing and permanent disability, that leads to:
      • Decreased ability to care for self
      • Decreased mobility

    Calling your health care provider

    Call your health care provider if:

    • Symptoms of Becker muscular dystrophy appear
    • A person with Becker muscular dystrophy develops new symptoms (particularly fever with cough or breathing difficulties)
    • You are planning to start a family and you or other family members have been diagnosed with Becker muscular dystrophy