What causes Duchenne muscular dystrophy?

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is caused by a lack of dystrophin.1,2

In DMD, a gene change (mutation) prevents the body from producing enough dystrophin.1–3 Dystrophin acts as a shock absorber or stabiliser for muscles.4 

How lack of dystrophin leads to the symptoms of DMD 

If the body does not have enough dystrophin, muscle cells become more sensitive to damage and deteriorate over time.3 

The injured muscles are gradually replaced with fat and scar tissue.3,5 

The lack of dystrophin and resulting loss of muscle lead to the symptoms of DMD.1,2 

Learn about the signs and symptoms of DMD

1. Goemans N, et al. Eur Neurol Rev. 2014;9:78–82.
2. Birnkrant DJ, et al. Lancet Neurol. 2018;17:251–267 [Part 1].
3. Muscular Dystrophy Association. Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Available at https://www.mda.org/disease/duchenne-muscular-dystrophy/research [last accessed March 2021].
4. Houang EM, et al. Skelet Muscle. 2018;8(1):31.
5. Amato AA, Brown RH Jr. Muscular dystrophies and other muscle diseases. In: Longo DL, et al., editors. Harrison’s principles of internal medicine. 19th edition.

Our Use of Cookies

In addition to cookies that are necessary to operate this website, we use optional cookies to provide website functionality and give you the best possible experience. We won't set optional cookies unless you enable them. For more detailed information see our Cookie Statement , which explains among others, how to set your cookie preferences and how to recall your consent.

Cookie Settings

Some cookies are essential, others help us improve your experience by providing insights into how the website is used. Select one or more of the cookie types listed below, and then save your preferences. Refer to our Cookie Statement for more information.

I accept the functional cookies
Functionality cookies, which allow us to enhance your experience (for example by remembering any settings you may have selected).

I accept the advertising/targeting cookies
Advertising/targeting cookies, which we use to track user activity and sessions so that we can deliver a more personalized service, and (in the case of advertising cookies) which are set by the third parties with whom we execute advertising campaigns and allow us to provide advertisements relevant to you.