February 13-18 is Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Awareness Week. Muscular dystrophy is a term given to a number of disorders that primarily affect muscles and movement. With Muscular Dystrophy, muscle proteins degenerate and wear down. This causes the muscles to weaken, leading to difficulties with mobility. In some cases, paralysis can result. In other cases, there can be a serious reduction in the individual’s ability to move about independently and lead a productive life.
There are several types of muscular dystrophy. One of the most common forms in children is Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a condition that mostly affects male children. Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is a genetic disorder.
The most common type of muscular dystrophy affecting adults is myotonic muscular dystrophy. This condition typically appears after the age of 40, but symptoms can appear at any age. Symptoms include a weakening of the muscles in the face, and neck. The condition can also cause cataracts.