What Health Problems Are Associated with Muscle Dystrophy?

Patients with muscular dystrophy develop weakness. Different forms of muscular dystrophy will have different ages of presentation, different rates of progression of the weakness and affect different muscles. In addition to motor function, some patients can develop problems with breathing because muscles are used to breath. Some forms of muscular dystrophy affect heart muscle and can cause heart problems. Some patients develop weakness in the swallowing muscle and need support to insure safe nutrition. Many patients can develop orthopedic concerns including curvature of the spine (scoliosis) or muscle contractions leading to the need for surgery. Because of the reduced physical activity some patients have muscle weakness and patients with muscular dystrophy are at increased risk for obesity.

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National Library of Medicine