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Becker muscular dystrophy

Related Terms

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Background

  • Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD) is a disease that causes the muscles to deteriorate. It is one of several muscular dystrophies, which are genetic (or inherited) diseases of the voluntary muscles or the muscles used to move parts of the body. Although BMD may affect all of the voluntary muscles, patients tend to maintain the function of the smooth, or involuntary muscles, such as those of the bladder and bowel.
  • BMD is caused by a mutation, or defect, in the DMD gene. This gene provides instructions for making the protein known as dystrophin. This protein helps to keep muscle cells intact, and proper levels of dystrophin are critical for muscle function. People with BMD are deficient in dystrophin; the dystrophin may be produced in low quantities or produced in a form that does not function properly.
  • BMD may affect all races and ethnicities. However, it primarily affects males and occurs in about one in 30,000 male births. BMD is similar to a more common disease called Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), which affects about one in 3,500 male births. Both conditions are caused by mutations in the DMD gene and both tend to affect more males than females. However, the mutations in the DMD gene are slightly different in each disease. Furthermore, the symptoms of BMD tend to be milder, more variable, typically occur later in life, and they progress more slowly than DMD.
  • Onset of BMD is generally in adolescence or adulthood. Symptoms usually appear around 10 years of age, but can occur between the ages of two and 21. The disease progresses slowly and may vary from patient to patient but all voluntary muscles may be affected, especially those of the hips, pelvis, thighs, and shoulders. Muscle shrinking tends to be more severe in the lower body.
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Risk Factors

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Causes

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Signs and Symptoms

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Types of the Disease

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Diagnosis

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Complications

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Treatment

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Integrative Therapies

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Prevention

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.