Muscular Dystrophy and Related Diseases

Disability/Illness Description:

The muscular dystrophies (MD) are a group of more than 30 genetic diseases characterized by progressive weakness and degeneration of the skeletal muscles that control movement. Some forms of MD are seen in infancy or childhood, while others may not appear until middle age or later. MD is a progressive disease and symptoms may get worse over time.

Becker MD starts with muscle loss and weakness in the pelvis, things and shoulders. It is often described as a milder form of Duchenne MD.

Duchenne MD is the most common form of MD and primarily affects boys. Onset is between 3 and 5 years and the disorder progresses rapidly.

Myotonic MD is the disorder’s most common adult form and individuals display prolonged muscle spasms, cataracts, cardiac abnormalities, and endocrine disturbances. Individuals with myotonic MD have long, thin faces, drooping eyelids, and a swan-like neck

About Neuromuscular Diseases – A look at causes, symptoms, and care options for neuromuscular diseases.


Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Massachusetts Office
33 Lyman Street # 205
Westborough, MA 01581
Phone: 508 898-3375

Massachusetts MDA Clinics:

Pediatric Neuromuscular Service – Mass General Hospital
The Pediatric Neuromuscular Clinic offers coordinated, multidisciplinary care for infants, children and adolescents with a wide variety of neuromuscular disorders

Other Information:

Duchenne Muscular Dystophy Information – Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy

Find a Muscular Dystrophy Association Support Group

Types of Muscular Dystrophy and Neuromuscular Diseases – Mass General Hospital

Muscular Dystrophy Information Page – National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Muscular Dystrophy – US National Library of Medicine

Muscular Dystrophy Basics – Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Muscular Dystrophy Services – Muscular Dystrophy Association

Facts about Muscular Dystrophy – Center for Disease Control

Fact Sheet last updated on: 4/23/2019