Muscular dystrophy is a group of diseases that make muscles weaker and less flexible over time. It is caused by a problem in the genes that control how the body keeps muscles healthy. For some people, the disease starts early in childhood. Others don’t have any symptoms until they are teenagers or middle-aged adults.
How muscular dystrophy affects you or your child depends on the kind. Most people’s condition will get worse over time, and some people may lose the ability to walk, talk, or care for themselves. But that doesn’t happen to everyone. Other people can live for many years with mild symptoms.
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Becker muscular dystrophy is like Duchenne, except milder. It also affects boys but the symptoms start later -- between ages 11 and 25.
Myotonic muscular dystrophy is the most common form in adults. People who have it can't relax their muscles after they contract. It can affect both men and women, and it usually starts when people are in their 20s.
Congenital muscular dystrophy starts at birth or shortly afterwards.
Limb-Girdle muscular dystrophy often starts in a person's teens or 20s.