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Patient Education

Patient education: Overview of muscular dystrophies (Beyond the Basics)

key information

source: UptoDate

year: 2017

authors: Basil T Darras


Muscular dystrophy is an inherited disorder that causes progressive muscle weakness (myopathy) and atrophy (loss of muscle mass) due to defects in one or more genes required for normal muscle function. Some of the genes responsible for these conditions have been identified.

There are a number of different types of muscular dystrophy. The primary symptom for most types is muscle weakness, although some dystrophies also cause heart disease or reduced mental ability. The diseases are distinguished from one another by the type of symptoms and the nature of the genetic abnormality causing the disorder.

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