Muscular Dystrophy Is Not A Disease

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Muscular dystrophy is not a disease; it’s a term for a genetic mutation. “The disease, mostly affecting males, is transmitted as a sex-linked recessive trait” (Taber’s Cylopedic Medical Dictionary, 2013 pg. 736). There are 9 different types of muscular dystrophy. The two most common types of muscular dystrophy are Duchenne and Becker. “MD is a progressive degeneration of skeletal muscles from an as yet unknown biochemical defect within the muscle” (Sommers, 2011 pg. 691).
Males are affected way more often than females because the mutation of the gene occurs on the X chromosome. Since males only have one X chromosome if that chromosome is mutated then the signs and symptoms of muscular dystrophy show up and because females have two X
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The two most common types of muscular dystrophy, Duchenne and Becker, affect 1 in 3,500 to 5,000 males that are born in the world (Genetics Home Reference, 2012). Just in the United States alone, over 400 males are born with one of these types of muscular dystrophy each year (Genetics Home Reference, 2012). The life expectancy for Duchenne MD is about 20-25 years old. In Becker MD the life expectancy is in middle adulthood. Most males lose the ability to walk at the age of 12 with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. They then fully rely on a wheelchair to get them anywhere. In Becker muscular dystrophy some are still walking at the age of 30. It just depends on how early the muscular dystrophy is found because depending upon when it’s detected determines what form of muscular dystrophy the patient has. Families may start noticing signs and symptoms of Duchenne MD between the ages of 2 and 6. With Becker muscular dystrophy signs are not noticed until late childhood or early adolescence. “Sons of female carriers of a mutated dystrophin gene have a 50% chance of having DMD or BMD” (Richman & Schub, 2013). No specific race or ethnic group is more affected by muscular dystrophy more than another. The patient has a better chance of getting pneumonia or other pulmonary disorders and other risk factors include cardiac dysrhythmias and hypertrophy (Sommers, 2011).
Muscular dystrophy is a disease in which muscles become weak over time due to muscular atrophy. Duchenne and Becker
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