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Muscular dystrophy is a group of degenerative inherited disorders causing muscle weakness and loss of muscle tissue. The different types are Becker muscular dystrophy, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy, Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy, Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy, Myotonia congenita and Myotonic dystrophy.
Symptoms can include progressive muscle weakness, delayed development of muscle motor skills, difficulting is using a group of muscles and possible falls,
In the absence of a cure, physical therapy (to maintain muscle tone), orthopedic appliances and corticosteroids can help avoid progression of the disease.
The prognosis is dependent on the type of dystrophy; Duchenne is deadly, but others can have complications such as cardiomyopathy and respiratory failure.
Duchenne muscular dystrophy can be detected with about 95% accuracy by genetic studies performed during pregnancy, and genetic counseling is advised of there is a family history of the condition.
Source: Adapted from NIH