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What are the symptoms of Duchenne muscular dystrophy?

Symptoms of Duchenne muscular dystrophy usually begin in very early childhood with muscle weakness in the hips, thighs, and shoulders. This usually leads to developmental delays with walking and running, and toddlers with the condition often seem clumsy and fall down. Children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy often have abnormally large calf muscles. As the disease progresses, muscle weakness in the legs leads people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy to have a waddling gait when they walk, or they may walk on their toes. Usually children can no longer walk by the time they are 12. Sometimes, the muscles of the heart and brain may also be affected, leading to heart failure, difficulty breathing, and learning disabilities. Symptoms usually progress relatively quickly, and some people with the condition may need a wheelchair by the time they're teenagers.


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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.