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Types of Muscular Dystrophy

Sandeep Dhanyamraju MD
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju
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Sandeep Dhanyamraju MD
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju

Muscular dystrophy (MD) is a hereditary disease in the muscular system. It can be in several forms, such as:

  • Myotonic;
  • Duchenne;
  • Facioscapulohumeral;
  • Becker;
  • Limb-girdle;
  • Oculopharyngeal.


These conditions affect some of the functions that are responsible for the patient’s physical activity. In addition, it can affect the functioning of the heart, respiratory organs, and even vision.

Such a disease can appear in a child at a fairly young age. The severity of the course of it is related to the age at which it appears and its form. Some types of MD appear only in boys, and some are the same in both sexes. As for how long a person will live while getting sick, there is no exact answer. It all depends on the form of the disease and other factors. The patient lives only up to 20 years with one form of the disease. In other forms, the patient can live as long as a healthy person.

In this article, we will take a close look at muscular dystrophy. 


What is Muscular Dystrophy?

muscular dystrophy in boy

Muscular dystrophy (MD) is a neuromuscular disease. MD ultimately leads the patient to muscle weakness and disability. It is a progressive disease. Unfortunately, over time, the symptoms of the disease worsen. As a rule, in the beginning, this problem affects a certain muscle group. Some types of this disease affect the heart or muscles the patient needs to breathe. 

There is currently no cure for this condition. But doctors use some drugs that help patients feel better.

Among the causes of this disease, scientists note mutations in genes. These genes are responsible for the functioning of human muscles. Therefore, with the progression of the disease, the patient becomes more disabled. This problem may well be genetic. If parents have this disease, it’s better to send their child for a genetic test. It will help to identify a predisposition to this disease.


The Most Common Muscular Dystrophy Types

Common Muscular Dystrophy Types

Each type of MD may have its symptoms. Many of them allow the patient to live for a long time without serious consequences. Symptoms of some types of this disease may be noticeable at an older age. 

Also, we should say that many types of MD do not affect the number of years a person can live. But some of them can cause heart or breathing problems. It’s a dangerous condition. Also, if MD affects the ability to swallow, it can be a dangerous situation for a patient’s life.

We have prepared descriptions of several types of MD. Let’s find out a little more about this.



This form also consists of progressive muscle weakness and muscle deformities. Most often, this form of disease affects the small muscles. So, for example, initially, this may affect the work of the muscles of the face or neck.

This type of disease can appear during any period of life. In terms of gender, it affects both men and women. This form of MD can progress quite slowly. Sometimes people with this disease do not get a severe disability. However, they need to control their pulse and heartbeat. Also, adolescents may have cataracts due to this form of MD.


Symptoms of the myotonic can be as follows:

  • Muscle stiffness;
  • Cataract;
  • Excessive sleep or drowsiness;
  • Difficulty swallowing;
  • Problems with behavior or learning;
  • Slow heartbeat;
  • Arrhythmia.

Such patients may have difficulty with general anesthesia and childbirth on time.



Most often, this type of disease occurs in boys. Sometimes this condition also occurs in girls. However, girls take it more easily. Symptoms of this type of MD appear at about two years of age. The muscles of the pelvis and thighs are the first to be affected. Because of the disease, these muscles may appear larger than other children’s.


Symptoms of Dushina’s disease:

  • Difficulty walking or other physical activity;
  • Difficulty getting up;
  • Speech delay;
  • Behavioral difficulties.

Children with this problem may need a wheelchair closer to their teens. It is because children with this disease cannot walk independently.

Also, dilated cardiomyopathy appears in adolescents with this form of muscle atrophy. Closer to the age of 20, children with this pathology have problems with breathing.

So, this disease affects the heart’s muscles and breathing. People can die from heart problems or respiratory failure before the age of 30.



It’s also muscle deformity called muscular dystrophy. This type of MD happens to both sexes. However, men are more likely to receive this diagnosis. Boys are exposed to the disease earlier and have a more severe condition. A third of patients with this disease are unaware of the presence of the disease until the age of eighteen. This problem progresses slowly.


Symptoms of this type can be as follows:

  • Sleep with open eyes;
  • Inability to completely close the eyes;
  • Inability to purse your lips;
  • Pain in the shoulders;
  • Weakness in the muscles of the legs.

This condition progresses slowly. Therefore, it may not reduce life expectancy.



It also usually affects boys. This problem usually affects the same parts of the body as Duchenne disease. The first signs of it can be seen in childhood. However, the condition may be mild for the child. So, the symptoms of this disease can be:

  • Late walking skills;
  • Muscle cramps during exercise;
  • Reluctance to play sports at school.

As the disease progresses, children may find running. Also, there can be problems with walking fast, or climbing stairs. Adults with this disease may find lifting objects above the waist difficult.



It refers to some conditions that cause weakness at the base of the arms and legs. Among the first signs of this disease are problems with the hip girdle. Symptoms often appear in adolescence. Men and women are equally affected by this disease.

Symptoms of a lumbar disease can include the following:

  • Muscle weakness in the hips and arms;
  • Loss of muscle mass in the affected areas;
  • Backache;
  • Tachycardia;
  • Arrhythmia.

The disease can cause problems such as difficulty lifting objects, running, or getting up from a low seat.



It is a rare form of muscular dystrophy. If a patient has such a disease, symptoms may not be noticeable until 50. It affects the muscles of the eyes and throat.

Symptoms of this form of MD may include:

  • Dropped eyelids;
  • Difficulties in swallowing;
  • Restriction of eye movement;
  • Weakness of the limbs in the area of the shoulders and hips.

The patient’s eyelids may droop. So, they can cover the eyes and impair the quality of vision. Also, patients may experience double vision. Furthermore, patients can face difficulty swallowing food or liquid. This form of disease can lead to chest infections due to improper swallowing of food.


Prognosis for Muscular Dystrophy

A number of years a patient can live with MD depends on its type. So, some patients can live a full life. Their duration does not differ from the life expectancy of healthy people. But for other patients, the consequences may be worse.

One of the main reasons for the decrease in life expectancy is the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases. Each type of MD can affect the heart’s function and cause cardiomyopathy.

To understand a more accurate prediction regarding life expectancy, it is worth considering each type separately.

We have prepared a table that shows a life expectancy depending on different forms of MD.


Myotonic This type of MD occurs more frequently than others. The first signs appear at the age of 2-6 years. Usually, by 12-13, a teenager with this problem needs a wheelchair.
Duchenne On average, people with this form of disease live for about 16-20 years. In some cases, patients live longer. It may be the case if the disease begins later or the complications are not too severe.
Facioscapulohumeral Having such a problem, the patient can live as long as healthy people.
Becker With this form of the disease, people live for about 30-40 years. Symptoms of this form of dystrophy appear at a later age. They are better tolerated than myopathic dystrophy.
Limb-girdle It does not affect life expectancy too much.
Oculopharyngeal This form of MD does not affect how many years the patient will live. But this is one of the rare muscle diseases, and little research has been done on it. Such a disease can be dangerous because the patient has difficulty swallowing. Because of this, food can enter the respiratory tract. However, with proper treatment, the patient can live as long as healthy ones.


Bottom Line 

So, we examined in detail such a disease as muscular dystrophy. Also, we have told you about several forms of this condition. This disease is genetic and can affect life expectancy differently. If you or someone you know has symptoms of this problem, you should see a doctor. Timely diagnosis and treatment can help you live a fulfilling life with this disease.

The Lone Star Neurology team employs highly qualified specialists in the field of neurology. Also, we work using high-quality and expensive equipment. Thanks to this, we aim to detect the disease early and help the patient cope with it in the best possible way. Sign up for a consultation with our specialists right now: 214-619-1910.



  • What type of muscular dystrophy is most common?

Myotonic muscular dystrophy is the most common form of muscular dystrophy. It is equally common in men and women.

  • What are usually the first signs of muscular dystrophy?

Doctors call muscle weakness the main symptom of muscular dystrophy. It tends to progress with the age of the patient. Other symptoms depend on the specific form of the disease.

  • How does a person get muscular dystrophy?

Most often, the patient gets muscular dystrophy (MD) by inheritance. It develops after receiving the defective gene from the parents. This disease occurs due to mutations in genes. These genes are responsible for healthy and proper muscle function.

  • Is it possible to cure muscular dystrophy?

To date, there is no cure for muscular dystrophy. But some methods can help the patient adapt to his disease.

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15:34 30 Jun 22
Just such an amazing staff that makes you feel like part of their family. I’ve been going there for over 5 years now... and each visit I get the very best care and treatments that I have ever received in the 20+ years that I’ve been dealing with severe debilitating migraines. Since i started seeing them the number of my migraines has dropped from 15-20 a month to 2-3 every 3 month. I highly recommend them …they will change your life!read more
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22:20 19 May 22
Dr. Askari was very kind and explained everything so I could understand. The other staff were nice as well. I would... have gave 5 stars but I was a little taken aback when I checked in and had to pay 600.00 upfront. I think that should have been discussed in a appointment confirmation call or email just so I could have been more
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I love the office staff they are friendly and very helpful. Dr. JODIE is very caring and understanding to your needs... and wants to help you. I will go back. would recommend Dr. Dr. Jodie to other Patients in a heart beat. The team works well more
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Linda M
19:40 02 Apr 22
I was obviously stressed, needing to see a neurologist. The staff was so patient and Dr. Ansari was so kind. At one... point he told me to relax, we have time, when I was relaying my history of my condition. That helped ease my stress. I have seen 3 other neurologists and he was the only one who performed any assessment tests on my cognitive and physical skills. At one point I couldn't complete two assessments and got upset and cried. I was told, it's OK. That's why you're here. I was truly impressed, and super pleased with the whole experience!read more
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Leslie Durham
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I've been coming here for about 5 years. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The Doctors are the absolute... best!! Jodie Moore is always in such a great mood which is a plus when you are already stressed. Highly recommendedread more
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14:13 25 Mar 22
Since my first post my thoughts have changed here. It's unfortunate. My doctor and PA were great, but the office staff... is horrible. They never call you back when they say they will, they misinform you, they cause you too much stress wondering what's going on, they don't keep you posted. They never answer the phone. At this point I've left four messages in the last week, and I have sent three messages. Twice from their portal and one direct email. No response. My appointment is on Monday morning at 8:30am, no confirmation on my insurance and what's going on. What the heck is going on, this is ridiculous!I've given up... the stress her office staff has put me through is just not worth it. You can do so much better, please clean house, either change out your office staff, or find a way for them to be more efficient please. You have to do something. This is not how you want to run your practice. It leaves a very bad impression on your more
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I was actually pleasantly surprised with this visit! It took me a long time to get the appointment scheduled because no... one answers your phones EVER! After a month, I finally got in, and your staff was warm, friendly, and I was totally impressed! I feel like you will take care of my needs!read more
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It was a nice visit. Happy staff doing all they can do to comfort the patients in a very calming environment. You ask... me they are earned a big gold star on the fridge. My only complaint they didn't give me any more
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Had very positive appointments with Jodie and Dr. Sheth for my migraine care. Jodie was so fast with the injections and... has so much valuable info. I started to feel light headed during checkout and the staff was SO helpful—giving me a chair, water, and taking me into a private room until I felt better. Highly recommend this practice for migraine patients, they know what they’re doing!!read more
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I was scheduled to be checked and just want to say that the staff was fantastic. They were kind and helpful. I was... asked many questions related to what was going on and not once did I feel as though I was being brushed off. The front desk staff was especially great in assisting me. I'm scheduled to go back for a mri and am glad that I'll be going more
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The professionalism and want to help attitude of this office was present from the moment I contacted them. The follow... up and follow through as well as their willingness to find a way to schedule my dad was above and beyond. We visited two offices in the same day with the same experience. I am appreciative of this—we spend a lot of time with doctors and this was top notch start to more
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I love going to this office. The staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor is great. I am getting the best... neurological tests and treatment I have ever had. The only reason I did not give them a 5 star rating is because it is impossible to reach a live person at the office to reschedule appointments. Every time I have tried to get through to the office it says all people are busy and I am sent to a voicemail. If they could get their phone answering fixed, I would give them a strong 5 more
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MaryAnn Hornbaker
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Dr. Harney is an excellent Dr. I found him friendly , personable and thorough. I evidently am an unusual case. ... Therefore he spent a Hugh amount of time educating me. He even gave me literature to further explain my condition and how to follow up. This is something you rarely get from your doctors. So I am more than please with my doctor and his more
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03:05 29 Jan 21
Always courteous, professional. The staff is very friendly and always work with you to find the best appointment time.... The care team has been great. Always taking the time to listen to your concerns and to find the best more
Margaret Rowland
Margaret Rowland
01:12 27 Jan 21
I have been a patient at Lone Star Neurology for several years. Now both my adult daughters also are patients there. I... love Jodie. She is always so prompt whether it is a teleamed call are a visit in the office. She takes the time to explain everything to me and answers all my questions. I am so blessed to have Jodie as my more
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My husband had an accident 5 years ago and Lone Star Neurology has been such a blessing to us with my husbands care.... Jodie Moore is his provider and she is amazing! Jodie is very knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. She takes her time with you, making sure your needs are met and she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Lone Star Neurology’s patients are very lucky to have Jodie providing their care. Thank you Lone Star Neurology and especially Jodie for everything you have done for us. Jodie, you are the best!read more
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Jodie is wonderful. She is very caring and knowledgeable. I have been to over a dozen neurologists, and none were able... to help me as much as they have here. Thanks!read more
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Jodi Moore, nurse practitioner, is amazing. I have suffered from frequent, debilitating headaches for almost 20 years.... She has provided the best proactive and responsive care I have ever received. My quality of life has been greatly improved by her caring approach and tenacity in finding more
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I have had the best experience at this neurologist's office! For over a year I have been receiving iv treatments here... each month and my nurse, Bobbie is beyond wonderful!! She's so attentive, knowledgeable, caring, and detail oriented. She makes an otherwise uncomfortable experience much more pleasant and definitely puts me at ease! She also helps me with my insurance,ordering this specialty medication and dealing with the ordering process which is no easy feat.Needless to say, she goes above a beyond in every way and I'm so grateful to this office and to Bobbie for all they do for me!read more
Matt Morris
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15:39 07 Jan 21
Let me start by saying that I have been coming here for years. Due to my autoimmune disease, I am in this office... once every three weeks for multiple hours at a time. The office is very clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint would be there communication via phone. They aren't the best at responding if you leave a voicemail and expect a call back. I understand that this is prob just due to the sheer number of alls they receive daily. What I can say I like the best about the office are the people. Bobby who handles my infusions is great. I never have any issues with her setting up my infusions. She is very quick to reply to messages sent via text and if she were to leave then my whole opinion of the office may change. I also enjoy people like Matt, Lauren, and Jodi. I appreciate all that they do for me and without this team I'm not sure I would be as happy as I am to visit the office as frequently as I have to. Please ensure that these folks are recognized as they are what makes my visit to this office so tolerable :).read more
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