Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a form of muscular dystrophy, an inherited disease which occurs in about 1 out of every 3,600 male infants. It worsens more quickly than other types of muscular dystrophy such as Becker's muscular dystrophy.
Symptoms may include fatigue, learning difficulties (the IQ can be below 75), intellectual disability (possible). Muscle weakness begins in the legs and pelvis but also occurs less severely in the arms, neck, and other areas of the body.
Problems with motor skills develop, such as with running, hopping, and jumping. Frequent falls occur, as well as trouble getting up or with climbing stairs. Weakness quickly gets worse.
The ability to walk may be lost by age 12, and a wheelchair will become necessary. Finally, breathing difficulties and heart disease begin, usually by age 20.
Duchenne muscular dystrophy progressively worsens, and death often occurs by age 25, typically from lung disorders. However, advances have resulted in many men living much longer.