Muscular dystrophy (MD) is an inherited degenerative muscle disease. This is a group of diseases that affect the voluntary muscles. In the disease's latter stages, the muscles begin to be destroyed, causing severe muscle wasting. Fats and connective tissues begin to replace the muscle tissues, causing further damage to the musculoskeletal structure of the body. The condition may become complicated if the dystrophy begins affecting vital involuntary muscles such as those of the heart and lungs.
There are nine main types of muscular dystrophy. These are Myotonic, Becker's, Emery-Dreifuss, Limb Girdle, Duchenne, Facioscapulohumeral, Distal, congenital and Oculopharyngeal. Muscular dystrophy may occur at any time during the person's life.
If the condition is congenital, a person may have muscular dystrophy right from infancy. However, there are other types of muscular dystrophy which may occur at other stages of life. Some forms of muscular dystrophy may affect only males, while others may affect both men and women. The symptoms, prognosis and treatments depend on the type of muscular dystrophy.