Muscular Dystrophy

Muscular dystrophy (MD) refers to a group of more than 30 genetic diseases characterized by muscle weakness and muscle loss that progress over time. Some forms of MD appear in infancy or childhood, while others may not appear until adulthood or middle age.

The NICHD works with other federal agencies and NIH Institutes to understand this neuromuscular disease. The NICHD supports Senator Paul D. Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Cooperative Research Centers, in collaboration with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS); and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, which bring together expertise, infrastructure, and resources to address major questions and support research collaborations in MD.

Common Name

  • Muscular dystrophy

Medical or Scientific Name

  • Muscular dystrophy
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