Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a genetic muscle wasting disease that causes muscles to weaken over time, leading to increasingly severe disability. It is one of the most common forms of Muscular Dystrophy, usually affecting boys in early childhood, with many becoming dependent on a wheelchair by the age of 12.
Duchenne muscular dystrophy occurs in approximately 1 in every 3,500 live male births.
It is caused by a fault on the gene which produces the protein dystrophin.
Dystrophin acts as a cushion, as well as a kind of glue.
It binds to the muscle membrane and helps maintain the structure of muscle cells. Without dystrophin, muscles are unable to operate properly, suffer progressive damage, and eventually die.
There are around 160 - 200 boys and young men living in Scotland at any one time with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.