Muscular dystrophy covers a range of conditions that effect the muscles causing wasting and weakness. These are inherited genetic conditions, are very rare and can cause progressive disability as the worsen over time. There is currently no cure available for muscular dystrophy but treatments are available to alleviate the symptoms as they begin to progress.
MD occurs when the genes that are involved in developing your muscles mutate. This mutation is normally inherited from your parents and there are many different types. One of the most common is Duchenne MD which is quite severe and affects boys in the early stages of childhood and is normally life threatening as the disease progresses quickly. Other types of muscular dystrophy such as Becker MD develop later in childhood and are not threatening to life expectancy and are less severe.
Medication such as steroids can be given to treat the symptoms of muscular dystrophy but there is no cure. There is, however, plenty of support and mobility assistance available as the condition worsens. Much depends on the type of muscular dystrophy a person has and when onset occurs.
Symptoms for Duchenne MD can start to appear as early as 1 years old and by the teenage years a sufferer will probably need a wheelchair or other support to aide mobility. The condition can develop to affect areas such as the heart muscles which can be life threatening.
A condition such as myotonic MD moves a lot more slowly and life expectancy can vary considerably. Most of the deaths related to this particular condition come from problems such as pneumonia and issues with the heart but many people have a normal life expectancy.