Muscular dystrophy

Muscular dystrophy (MD) is a genetic disorder that gradually weakens children’s muscles. It’s caused by incorrect or missing genetic information that prevents the body from making the proteins needed to build and maintain healthy muscles. Early diagnosis is helpful in getting your child the care that he or she needs.

There are several major forms of muscular dystrophy, which can affect the muscles to varying degrees. In some cases, MD starts causing muscle problems in infancy; in others, symptoms don’t appear until adulthood.

Our pediatric neurosciences physicians are experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of all forms of MD. Extensive diagnostic testing and a team of treatment professionals combine to help children and their families achieve the best possible outcome.

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Our experienced pediatric doctors and specialists are ready to serve you and your family.

Treatment Options

There is no cure for muscular dystrophy, but researchers are quickly learning more about how to prevent and treat it. Our doctors and care team members work closely with patients to improve muscle and joint function and slow muscle deterioration so that those with MD can live as actively and independently as possible. Diagnostic testing includes evaluation of medical history and a physical exam. Additional tests may include: 

  • Genetic testing 
  • Blood tests 
  • Electromyography—to test for muscle activity 
  • Muscle biopsy 

Tests to check your child’s heart, lungs, hormonal function, spine and other organ systems also may be done. 

A child who is diagnosed with MD gradually loses the ability to do things like walk, sit upright, breathe easily and move his or her arms and hands. This increasing weakness can lead to other health problems. Our MD clinic brings together experts in all needed specialties. They collaborate with patients and families to design the ideal treatment plan. 

Our clinic is aligned with the Muscular Dystrophy Association and offers early diagnosis, specialized care and access to promising clinical trials to bring the best possible outcomes. 

Our Specialists

  • Cardiologist 
  • Child life specialist 
  • Geneticist 
  • MDA representative 
  • Neurologist 
  • Neuromuscular specialist 
  • Neuropsychologist
  • Neurorehabilitation specialist 
  • Occupational therapist 
  • Orthopedist 
  • Patient liaison 
  • Physical therapist 
  • Pulmonologist 
  • Social worker

Treatments are carefully tailored to the needs of each patient. Our team offers the most advanced options possible and works closely with patients and families to provide ongoing care.