About Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is the most common and most severe type of muscular dystrophy, affecting about one in 3,500 boys. There is currently no cure. Duchenne is a progressive disease that slowly causes complete loss of muscle function. It is caused by an error in the gene that encodes for dystrophin, an essential muscle protein. As a result, muscles are easily damaged and fail to regenerate. Most boys with Duchenne lose the ability to walk by age ten to twelve and lose the use of their arms by their late teens. Duchenne ultimately causes respiratory and heart failure. Most boys with Duchenne do not survive their twenties.
Duchenne can affect any family. Although Duchenne is a genetic disorder, approximately 35% of cases occur because of a random spontaneous mutation. It is the most common fatal genetic disease affecting children. Duchenne knows no boundaries - it affects all racial and ethnic groups. There are approximately 15,000 boys living with Duchenne in the United States.