Muscular dystrophy is muscle wasting condition that is estimated to affect around 70,000 children and adults in the UK. There are over 30 different types of the condition, the most common being Duchenne, named after the pioneering French neurologist whose early work on the condition brought it to the attention of the medical world.
Duchenne muscular dystrophy affects around one in every 3,500 male births. Sufferers of this form of the disease are usually diagnosed in their early years, and are often wheelchair-bound by the age of 12. People with this form of the condition are unlikely to live past 30, although some other forms of the illness may lead to a longer life expectancy.
Muscular dystrophy is usually an inherited condition and is caused by a mutation of the gene that is responsible for muscle structure and function. There is no cure but the treatment can be managed. There are exercises and physiotherapies available, while surgery is an option to help correct postural deformities, such as scoliosis, that can occur in sufferers. Steroids can be taken to help build muscle mass and other medications can be taken to associated with muscular dystrophy. There are also many valuable support groups for sufferers and their families.
Comments and Questions
Comments & Questions are now archived, but if you see anything on the site that worries you, please report it and one of our moderators will look at it as soon as possible.
Please note: Unfortunately Channel 4 cannot respond to individual inquiries. If you have any concerns, you can check out NHS Choices, but ultimately it is always best to check with a health professional.
The information provided on this website (including any NHS Choices medical information) is for use as information or for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified doctor or other qualified healthcare professional. We do not warrant that any information included within this site will meet your health or medical requirements. This Embarrassing Bodies site does not provide any medical or diagnostic services so you should always check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.