Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a rare genetic disease that is characterised by severe and progressive skeletal and cardiac muscle weakness and atrophy in the male population and less severe muscle weakness in the female population.
The disease often debuts between the ages of three and six years. Because of the rapid progressive nature of the disease, most patients require assistance in the form of a wheelchair by their teenage years, as the disease gradually extends to more muscle groups.
In addition to the decay and necrosis of muscle fibers, children suffering from DMD are affected by reduced bone density making them prone to fractures, especially in the hips and spine.
Patients of DMD are also at risk of cardiompyopathy, a heart disease that weakens cardiac muscles preventing proper heartbeat and blood pumping.