What Are The 9 Types Of Muscular Dystrophy? A Complete Overview


Muscular dystrophy is a group of genetic disorders. It gradually is said to chip away at muscle strength and function. These conditions don’t discriminate based on age. It usually affects people at various stages of life. Let’s take a closer look at nine of the muscular dystrophy. We will explore them one by one to get a better understanding. 

1. Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD)

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is the most common one out there. It is also severe within this spectrum. It tends to predominantly affect boys and typically raises its flag in early childhood. What characterizes DMD is the absence of a vital protein called dystrophin, responsible for muscle function. Its absence leads to progressive muscle weakness and a gradual loss of mobility.

Muscular Dystrophy Types

2. Becker Muscular Dystrophy (BMD)

Becker muscular dystrophy shares a close genetic connection with DMD but generally exhibits milder symptoms. Those with BMD often experience muscle weakness. The onset is usually delayed, often manifesting later in life. In individuals with BMD, the dystrophin protein is present. Although it may not function as effectively as it should.

3. Myotonic Dystrophy

Myotonic dystrophy comes with its distinctive features, notably prolonged muscle contractions, a phenomenon known as myotonia. This genetic disorder affects multiple body systems, extending its influence beyond just muscles to the heart and eyes. Myotonic dystrophy comes in two primary forms, DM1 and DM2, each with its unique array of symptoms and consequences.

4. Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy (LGMD)

Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy doesn’t fit into a single mold; it’s more of a family of disorders that share a common theme. These conditions primarily affect muscles around the shoulders and hips, with various subtypes resulting from different genetic triggers. Regardless of the subtype, LGMD consistently brings on progressive muscle weakness, albeit with variations in when it strikes.

5. Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy (FSHD)

Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy, or FSHD for short, zeros in on muscle weakness in specific areas of the body – the facial muscles, shoulders, and upper arms. Typically, it makes its presence known in the teenage years or early adulthood. FSHD exhibits a spectrum of severity. The affected part can vary from person to person. 

6. Congenital Muscular Dystrophy (CMD)

Congenital muscular dystrophy enters the stage right from birth or announces itself in early childhood. It represents a family of genetic muscle disorders with effects on muscle tone, mobility, and motor development. CMD often comes bundled with significant physical and intellectual challenges, reshaping the lives of those living with it.

7. Oculopharyngeal Muscular Dystrophy (OPMD)

Oculopharyngeal Muscular Dystrophy is rare in muscular dystrophy. It primarily targets the muscles governing eyelid movement and throat function. The onset typically occurs in adulthood and ushers in symptoms like drooping eyelids (ptosis) and difficulty in swallowing (dysphagia). Specific gene mutations underpin the development of OPMD.

8. Emery-Dreifuss Muscular Dystrophy (EDMD)

Emery-Dreifuss Muscular Dystrophy, or EDMD, paints a unique picture with its blend of muscle weakness, joint contractures, and cardiac issues. It doesn’t limit its influence to skeletal muscles alone, extending its reach to the muscles of the heart. EDMD often stems from mutations in specific genes, resulting in issues with the nuclear envelope of muscle cells.

9. Distal Muscular Dystrophy

Distal Muscular Dystrophy takes center stage within these disorders. It preferentially affects the muscles at the far extremities usually in the hands and feet. Progression is usually gradual. You can see the severity from the specific subtype of distal muscular dystrophy.


Each type of muscular dystrophy is a unique entity. It has its own genetic underpinnings and clinical features. Yet, at the core, they all share a common thread– it is the muscle weakening. Regrettably, there is no cure for these conditions. The ongoing research is dedicated to discovering treatments and therapies. These can enhance the quality of life for people suffering.

If anyone from your family is experiencing the same make sure to visit the healthcare professional at the latest. This collaboration is instrumental in devising effective strategies. It will help to manage the condition and explore avenues to improve mobility. It also helps overall well-being. Alongside professional guidance, support groups, and advocacy organizations also help. Take help and make sure to stay positive. 

Everything in this world is curable, if not it is treatable. With the help of remedies provided by health experts, and other medical supplies, you can ensure a smooth and easy recovery in no time. Make sure to observe your symptoms and do not take everything lightly. It is important to get cured and have a smooth recovery journey. Connect with the doctor today and sort out your muscle issues.

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Dr. David G Kiely is a distinguished Medical Reviewer and former General Medicine Consultant with a wealth of experience in the field. Dr. Kiely's notable career as a General Medicine Consultant highlights his significant contributions to the medical field.

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