Muscular dystrophy (MD) is not just a single disorder. In fact, it refers to a group of more than 30 inherited diseases that cause muscle weakness and muscle loss. Some forms of MD appear in the early stages of life, while others may not appear until middle age or later. The different muscular dystrophies vary in who they affect and the symptoms, but all forms of muscular dystrophies progressively grow worse as the person's muscles get weaker. Most people with MD eventually lose the ability to walk.
Although there is no cure for muscular dystrophy, there are treatments that can help, such as physical and speech therapy, orthopedic devices, surgery and medications.