7 Ways Duchenne and Becker Muscular Dystrophy Affects Patients


Duchenne and Becker are two of the most common types of muscular dystrophy (MD). Both types of the disease mainly affect boys, with Duchenne MD (DMD) usually being diagnosed between the ages of three and five, and Becker MD (BMD) between the ages of 11 and 25. Although they tend to differ in severity, the effects of the diseases are similar in many ways. We’ve put together a list of the ways the disease affects patients based on information from the Muscular Dystrophy Foundation Australia.


Pain and Sensation

Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy patients don’t tend to suffer from pain from their condition or loss of sensations, but they may experience cramps and general aching which can be treated with over-the-counter medications.

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Because the heart is a muscle, it is also affected by Duchenne and Becker MD. Boys with both types of MD will undergo regular cardiac evaluations and in some cases may need a heart transplant if they are otherwise in good health. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and beta-blockers can be used to slow down the progression of heart disease if caught early enough. Boys with Duchenne MD are more likely to succumb to severe heart disease in their late teens or early twenties.

Fourteen-year-old Bryan talks about his life as a high school student with muscular dystrophy.

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