Muscular dystrophy is the name given to a group of neuromuscular disorders that cause progressive and irreversible weakness and wasting of the muscles.
There are more than 30 different types of muscular dystrophy. They are genetic conditions, which means that they are caused by an alteration within the genetic makeup. The genes causing the majority of cases of muscular dystrophy have been identified and the function of these genes have been studied. Many of the genes are involved in providing strength to the muscle structure.
There are approximately 30 other neuromuscular disorders that are often confused with muscular dystrophy, because they also cause muscle weakness. However, in these conditions, the muscle weakness is usually not caused by a problem within the muscles themselves, but by the nerves or motor neurons controlling them, or the supply of energy to the muscles. These include spinal muscular atrophy, neuropathies such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, myasthenia gravis, and the myopathies (including metabolic, mitochondrial and inflammatory myopathies).
At Sunshine Butterflies our programs are inclusive to individuals and their families living with Muscular Dystrophy and we aim to provide a supportive environment.