What are the types of muscular dystrophy?

Updated: Aug 17, 2020
  • Author: Twee T Do, MD; Chief Editor: Jeffrey D Thomson, MD  more...
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Becker MD is similar to Duchenne MD, but because patients have some measure of functioning dystrophin, the manifestations of Becker MD occur later and are more mild. Patients tend to live past the fourth or fifth decades.

Emery-Dreifuss MD is an uncommon sex-linked dystrophy that presents with early contractures and cardiomyopathy in affected patients; the typical presentation involves tendo Achillis contractures, elbow flexion contractures, neck extension contractures, tightness of the lumbar paravertebral muscles, and cardiac abnormalities. Death may occur in the fourth or fifth decade as a result of first-degree atrioventricular (AV) block, a condition that is usually not present at the initial presentation of this disease.

Autosomal dominant distal MD is a rare form of MD and tends to become apparent in those aged 30-40 years; it is more commonly found in Sweden than in any other country and can cause a mild weakness that affects the arms before the legs.

Autosomal dominant facioscapulohumeral dystrophy causes facial and upper-extremity weakness, and scapulothoracic motion is decreased, with winging of the scapula. This type of dystrophy can occur in both sexes and appear at any age, although it is more common in late adolescence.

Autosomal dominant oculopharyngeal dystrophy appears in those aged 20-30 years. The pharyngeal muscle involvement leads to dysarthria and dysphagia, which may necessitate palliative cricopharyngeal myotomy. The ocular component comprises ptosis, which may not become obvious until the patient's mid life.

None of the autosomal dominant conditions significantly affect longevity.

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