Genetic Research Project

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

What this disorder is:

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is a form of muscular dystrophy that causes weakness and gradual loss of muscle mass and can worsen quickly.

What kind of disorder?

  • Inherited disorder which means risks of this include family history.
  • X-linked recessive: It's found on the x chromosome

Symptoms & Characteristics

Symptoms: Muscle weakness, breathing difficulties, fatigue, learning problems, and heart disease can start at the age of 20.

Characteristics: ability to walk may be lost by 12 (wheelchair), lack of motivation, lack in motor skills

Average age of onset:

Symptoms usually appear before the age of 6 and could appear even at infancy.

Common in Males:

Usually affects boys, very rarely is a girl affected.

Occurs in about 1 out of 3600 male infants

Male: 50% chance of disorder from carrier

Female: 50% chance of carrier from carrier


No cure, so treatment helps improve quality of life.

  • Steroid drugs help slow the loss in muscle strength
  • Amino acids, Fish oil, Vitamin E, Green tea extract
  • Stem cells & gene therapy
  • Physical activity is encouraged (inactivity worsens it)
  • Physical Therapy, Surgery, Nutrition

Life Affects:

The affected person has speech problems and a hard time moving around. This disorder will prevent the person from moving around freely. It requires constant checkups at the hospital and multiple forms of tests for treatments.

MDA's DMD Medical Research Network: