Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Myotonic Dystrophy Types

The five main types of muscular dystrophy include:

  • Duchenne's muscular dystrophy:
    • The most common type
  • Becker's muscular dystrophy
  • Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy
    • Also known as Landouzy-Dejerine dystrophy
  • Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy
  • Myotonic dystrophy:
    • Also known as Steinert's disease

Myotonic Dystrophy Becker's

Characteristics of Becker's muscular dystrophy:

  • Slowly progressive muscle weakness.
  • Weakness is most common in the legs and pelvis.
  • Muscle weakness also occurs in the arms, neck, and other areas.
  • Symptoms usually develop between the ages of 7 and 26 years.
  • The heart muscle becomes weak in almost all cases.
  • Mental retardation may occur.
  • Deformities of the bones may occur.
  • Disability progresses slowly.
  • People with Becker's muscular dystrophy usually live longer than 40 years of age.

Myotonic Dystrophy Duchenne's

Characteristics of Duchenne's muscular dystrophy:

  • Symptoms start after a child learns to walk.
  • Progressive muscle weakness:
    • Children usually require a wheelchair by age 12.
  • Weakness is most common in the legs and pelvis.
  • Muscle weakness also occurs in the arms, neck, and other areas.
  • Muscle enlargement occurs in the legs.
  • Scoliosis is prominent.
  • Disability progresses through childhood.
  • People with Duchenne's muscular dystrophy usually die between 12 and 20 years of age.

Myotonic Dystrophy Facioscapulohumeral

Characteristics of facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy:

Myotonic Dystrophy Limb-Girdle

Characteristics of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy:

  • Most commonly affects the pelvic muscles, chest muscles and limbs
  • Symptoms start during childhood or adolescence.
  • Progressive muscle weakness:
    • Wheelchair may be required 10 to 20 years after symptoms begin.
  • Prominent muscle atrophy

Myotonic Dystrophy Myotonic Dystrophy

Myotonic dystrophy or Steinert's disease can affect both children and adults. In most cases symptoms do not begin until adulthood. Some forms are mild causing mainly the inability to relax muscles (myotonia) while others may have more muscle weakness, typical of the other forms of muscular dystrophy.

Features of myotonic dystrophy include:

Continue to Myotonic Dystrophy Anatomy

Last Updated: Dec 21, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Myotonic Dystrophy References
  1. Cossu G, Sampaolesi M. New therapies for muscular dystrophy: cautious optimism. Trends Mol Med. 2004 Oct;10(10):516-20. [15464452]
  2. Gregorevic P, Chamberlain JS. Gene therapy for muscular dystrophy - a review of promising progress. Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2003 Aug;3(5):803-14. [12880380]
  3. Leyten QH, Gabreels FJ, Renier WO, ter Laak HJ. Congenital muscular dystrophy: a review of the literature. Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 1996 Nov;98(4):267-80. [8930416]
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