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Duchenne muscular dystrophy

  • Definition

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy is an inherited disorder that involves rapidly worsening muscle weakness.


    Alternative Names

    Pseudohypertrophic muscular dystrophy; Muscular dystrophy - Duchenne type


    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a rapidly-worsening form of muscular dystrophy. Other muscular dystrophies (including Becker's muscular dystrophy) get worse much more slowly.

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy is caused by a defective gene for dystrophin (a protein in the muscles). However, it often occurs in people without a known family history of the condition.

    Because of the way the disease is inherited, males are more likely to develop symptoms than are women. The sons of females who are carriers of the disease (women with a defective gene but no symptoms themselves) each have a 50% chance of having the disease. The daughters each have a 50% chance of being carriers.

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy occurs in approximately 1 out of every 3,600 male infants. Because this is an inherited disorder, risks include a family history of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.