The muscle itself
Communication between the nerves and muscles
The nerves that control the muscles
Most neuromuscular disorders are genetic. This means that they are passed down through the family (inherited) or caused by new changes (mutations) in a person’s genes.1
Muscular dystrophy refers to a group of neuromuscular disorders that cause muscle weakness and muscle loss.2
The different types of muscular dystrophy can vary in which muscles they affect, the type and severity of symptoms, and at what age the symptoms start.2,3 All forms of muscular dystrophy are progressive, which means they get worse over time.2
Duchenne muscular dystrophy is the most common and most severe form of muscular dystrophy.1,3
Signs and symptoms of neuromuscular diseases can vary depending on the type of disorder and may be mild, moderate or severe.2 However, most neuromuscular disorders cause muscle weakness that worsens over time.2
The earliest and most common sign of neuromuscular disease is that a child does not reach developmental milestones when expected. These milestones include lifting their head, sitting, walking and talking.4–6
If you have concerns about your child’s development, talk to your doctor as soon as possible. In the rare situation that there is a problem, finding it early can ensure your child gets the expert care and treatments they may need.5–7
While there is no cure for neuromuscular diseases, treatment and supportive care may improve symptoms, increase mobility and even increase life expectancy.1,8
The earliest and most common sign of neuromuscular disease is that a child does not reach developmental milestones when expected.4,5 Click here for the Developmental milestone checklist to help identify developmental concerns early
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Not a healthcare professional but want to know more? Visit Duchenne and You for more information on signs and symptoms of Duchenne, diagnosis and support following a Duchenne diagnosis
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