MD refers to a group of more than 30 diseases that cause muscle weakness and loss of muscle mass and tissue.
Different types of MD affect different areas of the body and vary in symptom severity. Some forms of MD appear in infancy or childhood, while others may not appear until middle age or even later. All forms of MD get worse with time, as a person’s muscles get weaker.1
Because some types of MD are more common than others, statistics about the number of people affected by MD may differ. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides more details about the number of people affected by MD.
NIH research on MD is led by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). The NINDS website on MD offers more specific information.