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What is Muscular Dystrophy

Muscular dystrophy (MD) is an ‘umbrella’ term that refers to a group of more than 60 genetically inherited neuromuscular conditions which cause progressive deterioration of muscle strength and function.

There are many other types of neuromuscular disorders, affecting people of all ages. While most forms of muscular dystrophy occur in babies or children, some others appear in late adolescence or adulthood. The incidence of persons with a neuromuscular disorder is estimated to be 100 per 100,000 head of population. It is estimated that there are more than 20,000 people in Australia who have some form of neuromuscular disease.

An initial diagnosis of a neuromuscular condition can be extremely daunting for the individual and their loved ones, however researchers and and doctors are learning more about the causes of muscular dystropies and various treatments are being trialled to slow or even stop the progression of some diseases. Until cures are found, timely access to effective treatments, the introduction of assistive technologies and mobility aids and the availability of support services can slow the progression of these conditions and enable people to live the lives they choose.