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What is Muscular Dystrophy The muscular dystrophies are a heterogeneous group of genetic musclular diseases which have three features in common they are hereditary they are progressive ie get worse over time and each produces a characteristic selective pattern of weakness of muscle groups Engel 1994 There are a number of such diseases Duchenne muscle dystrophy DMD Becker type Emery-Dreifuss type Facioscapulohumeral type Limb-girdle muscular dystrophies Congenital muscular dystrophies Severe childhood autosomal recessive muscular dystrophy SCARMD Ocular Muscular Dystrophy Oculopharyngeal type Distal type Muscular dystrophies are by definition hereditary which means that they are of genetic cause They are due to a mistake in the genetic plan which is put together when an individual is conceived There are three types of inheritance causing muscular dystrophies called X-linked inheritance autosomal inheritance and autosomal recessive inheritance X-lined conditions such as Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophies affect only males with rare exceptions Autosomal dominant conditions such as facioscapulohumeral and myotonic dystrophies are transmitted from one generation to the next and a typical family tree will show several generations and multiply branches of a family having affected people Autosomal recessive conditions like most families with limb girdle muscular dystrophy seldom affect more than one generation or more than one branch of the family Serratrice 1984 The most common and severe types of muscular dystrophy are called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy DMD after the French neurologist who first described it in 1861 and Becker muscular dystrophy BMD These muscle-wasting disorders have no known cure and no medication has yet been shown to be of value in arresting the disease Although Duchenne and Becker dystrophies are a serious disease there is little or no pain associated with it There is no effect on sensations The bladder bowels and sexual function develop and continue to function effectively Adams 1994 As a result this essay will deal only with the
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