Overview Myotonic dystrophy

Myotonic dystrophy is a genetic condition that causes progressive muscle weakness and wasting. It typically affects muscles of movement and commonly the electrical conduction system of the heart, breathing muscles, swallowing muscles, bowels, lens of the eye and brain.

The age when symptoms start varies a lot and can be any time from birth to old age. In general, the later the condition starts, the milder it will be.

There are two types of myotonic dystrophy. Type 1 tends to be more severe and more common in the UK than type 2. This information will refer to only myotonic dystrophy type 1 apart from the section specific to myotonic dystrophy type 2.


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