7 Common Early Symptoms of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

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by Wendy Henderson |

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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:

MORE: Nine areas of research for Duchenne MD.

Frequent falls
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 gait
Waddling when walking is a common sign of Duchenne MD. Patients may also sway or walk on their toes.

Join our MD forums: an online community especially for patients with Muscular Atrophy.

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.

Learning difficulties
According to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, around a third of boys living with DMD will have learning difficulties to varying degrees.

MORE: Watch what happens when children meet a man with muscular dystrophy.

Muscular Dystrophy News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.