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Understand Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is a devastating and progressive muscle disorder that only affects boys, causing a loss of both muscle function and independence. DMD affects approximately 1 out every 3500 boys born worldwide. It is the most common, lethal genetic disorder diagnosed during early childhood. Nearly all boys with DMD die by their late teens or early 20s from respiratory and/or cardiac complications.

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Fact Sheet
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Facts about DMD

  • DMD has a 100% fatality rate.

  • DMD is typically diagnosed in boys between the ages of 3 and 7.

  • Boys with DMD generally lose their ability to walk between the ages of 8 and 12.

  • DMD affects boys from ever ethnicity and geographic location.

  • Approximately 20,000 boys worldwide are born with DMD every year.

  • There is no way to stop the progression of DMD.

  • To date, there is no cure.

 

What causes DMD?

A child diagnosed with DMD is not able to produce a protein called dystrophin.

 

Dystrophin, which is one of the largest genes found to date, acts as the glue that holds muscles together by maintaining the structure of muscle cells. Without dystrophin, muscles are not able to operate properly and will eventually suffer progressive damage.

 

For a thorough explanation about Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and research updates, please visit Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, an organization that supports through research advocacy, education, and compassion.