Muscular dystrophy is a group of disorders that are inherited and involve muscle weakness and loss of muscle tissue. Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is a form of muscular dystrophy that is very progressive. Typically the onset of symptoms occurs between 2-6 years of age. DMD is caused by a defective gene for dystrophin (PubMedHealth, 2011).
- Muscle weakness
- Begins in the legs and pelvis, but also occurs less severely in the arms, neck, and other areas of the body
- Difficulty with motor skills (running, hopping, jumping)
- Frequent falls
- Rapidly worsening weakness
- Progressive difficulty walking
- Ability to walk may be lost by age 12
- By age 10, the person may need braces for walking. By age 12, most patients are confined to a wheel chair.
Treatment includes maintenance of motor skills and controlling the symptoms. There is no cure for DMD. Activity is encouraged and physical therapy is recommended. Due to the progression of the disease assistive devices and equipment will need to be assessed and modified in order to meet the individual’s needs (Pubmedhealth, 2011).