What is Duchenne or Becker muscular dystrophy?

Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy are names for the same disorder caused by genetic mutations in the DMD gene.  It is one of the most common types of muscular dystrophy, which is an inherited disease that affects the muscles. In people with Duchenne or Becker muscular dystrophy, the DMD gene is mutated.  Mutations in this gene result in muscle weakness, with the voluntary muscles of the arms and legs most commonly affected.  The muscles of the heart can also be weakened. This disorder almost always affects boys, and symptoms appear by age of 5 in Duchenne, or later in life in Becker. 

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