Muscular dystrophy (MD) is a group of genetically inherited disorders that are characterized by progressive weakness and degeneration of the skeletal muscles.1 Muscular dystrophy is classified into 9 major forms.

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Can You Get Muscular Dystrophy At Any Age?

Different types of muscular dystrophy occur at different ages and they are classified accordingly. Let us see how.

Myotonic muscular dystrophy:

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  • This type is also known as Myotonic muscular dystrophy or Steinert’s disease
  • It is the commonest form of muscular dystrophy in adults
  • It is seen in both males and females
  • It can appear at any time from childhood to later ages
  • This disease is characterized by prolonged stiffness of muscles after movement, specially aggravated in cold seasons
  • The life expectancy in this disease is usually less

Duchenne muscular dystrophy:

  • This is the commonest form of muscular dystrophy in children 1
  • This is seen to be affecting only males
  • It is usually seen to be starting between ages 2 to 6
  • The muscles start decreasing in size and grow weaker over time
  • The rate of progression of the disease is different for different persons
  • Most cases face deformities of arms, legs and spine and may need a wheelchair very early in their lives
  • The life expectancy in this disease is usually up to late teens or early twenties

Becker muscular dystrophy:

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  • This type has some similarities with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, but is comparatively milder than that 1
  • The symptoms start later in life and progress slowly
  • This type also is seen to be affecting only males
  • This type can cause cardiac problems
  • Life expectancy is usually beyond 30s in this type of muscular dystrophy

Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy:

  • This type of muscular dystrophy affects both males and females
  • It is seen to be starting in late teens or early adulthood
  • In this type, the muscular weakness starts in the hip muscles and progresses to the shoulders, arms and then legs
  • Over time, walking becomes increasingly difficult
  • Those suffering from this type have a life expectancy of about middle age to late adulthood

Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy:

  • This type involves the weakness of facial, shoulder blade and upper arm muscles 1
  • This affects both males and females
  • It is greatly varying in severity
  • It may cause very mild muscle weakness or a disabling one
  • The muscle weakness may cause problems with chewing, swallowing speaking etc.
  • Most people affected with this type can walk throughout their lives and their life expectancy is near to normal

Congenital muscular dystrophy:

  • This type is present at the time of birth
  • This type progresses very slowly
  • This can affect both males and females
  • This type may cause muscle weakness at the time of birth or within a few months of birth

Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy:

  • This type affects the eye and the throat
  • This type is usually seen beyond 40s to 60s
  • This type progresses very slowly and causes problems with eye and face
  • It may lead to swallowing difficulty
  • In later stages, it may result in weakness in pelvic and pectoral muscles

Distal muscular dystrophy:

  • This is a rare group of diseases
  • It affects both men and women in adulthood
  • It causes wasting of the distal muscles- the muscles that are far from the center, like those of forearms, feet etc.
  • It is comparatively a less severe type and is seen to be progressing more slowly
  • It also affects fewer muscles than other forms

Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy:

  • This type is seen to be appearing in childhood or early teens and affecting mainly males. Females are affected very rarely
  • This is also a rare form of muscular dystrophy
  • It causes muscle wasting in shoulders, upper arms and legs
  • Muscle shortening can be seen in early stage of the disease
  • Chest and pelvic muscles may get weakened
  • This type is slowly progressing one and affects fewer muscles as compared to other types of muscular dystrophy

Muscular dystrophy is a genetically inherited group of disorders. It can occur at any age and is classified accordingly into various types.

References:  

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: July 26, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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