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Common Conditions

Muscular Dystrophy

About Muscular Dystrophy

The muscular dystrophies (MD) are a group of inherited genetic conditions that gradually cause the muscles to weaken. This leads to an increasing level of disability. MD is a progressive condition, which means that it gets worse over time. It often begins by affecting a particular group of muscles before affecting the muscles more widely. Some types of MD eventually affect the heart or the muscles used for breathing, at which point the condition becomes life threatening. MD is caused by changes (mutations) in the genes responsible for the structure and functioning of a person's muscles. These mutations cause changes in the muscle fibres that interfere with the muscles' ability to function. Over time, this causes increasing disability.

Although there is no cure for MD, a range of treatments can help with the physical disabilities and problems that may develop, including mobility assistance with the use of a wheelchair.