What is Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD)
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is the most common fatal genetic disorder to affect children around the world. Children with DMD cannot produce dystrophin, a protein necessary for muscle strength and function. As a result, every skeletal muscle in the body deteriorates. Although Duchenne is the most common fatal genetic disorder to affect children, there is no cure. Since the Duchenne gene is found on the X-chromosome it occurs mainly in boys (with very few exceptions) however there are no other discriminations as it occurs across all races and cultures.
Muscle weakness can begin as early as age 3, first affecting the muscles of the hips, pelvic area, thighs and shoulders, and later the skeletal (voluntary) muscles in the arms, legs and trunk. The calves often are enlarged. By the early teens, the heart and respiratory muscles also are affected.
- DMD has a 100% fatality rate.
- Most DMD kids die in their late teens or early twenties.
- Most boys with DMD are in a wheelchair, most between 10-12 years old.
- DMD is associated with respiratory failure, heart failure, and debilitating orthopedic complications.
Families all over the world are suffering from the effects of Duchenne, the most severe form of muscular dystrophy.
- Approximately one in 3,500 boys is born with DMD.
- An estimated 15,000-20,000 children in America are afflicted.
- DMD affects boys of every ethnicity and geographic location.
- One third of all DMD cases are the result of random in utero mutation, with no warning before the affected baby is born.
To learn more about the disease and what causes it, visit The Muscular Dystrophy Association, a large charity that supports 19 different neuromuscular diseases.