Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a genetic disease that causes muscles to progressively weaken. The condition affects mainly boys and the onset of symptoms usually occurs between the ages of two and three and according to the Mayo Clinic, the following are the most common symptoms that present at this early age:
Infants with Duchenne are often slow to begin walking and when they do, they are more prone than other children their age to falling and tripping.
Trouble getting up from sitting or lying down
Boys with DMD often lack the physical strength to push themselves up from sitting or lying down using just their legs. They may need to roll over to their sides and use their arms to help them up.
Difficulties running and jumping
Muscle weakness in the legs may make it difficult for them to run around and play jumping games with their friends.
Waddling when walking is a common sign of Duchenne MD. Patients may also sway or walk on their toes.
Enlarged calf muscles
Due to abnormal muscle and scar tissue, many boys with Duchenne have enlarged calf muscles.
Muscle pain and stiffness
As muscles become weaker, many will experience pain, stiffness and cramping.
According to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, around a third of boys living with DMD will have learning difficulties to varying degrees.
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