Benign pseudohypertrophic muscular dystrophy; Becker’s dystrophy
Definition of Becker muscular dystrophy
Becker muscular dystrophy is an inherited disorder that involves slowly worsening of the legs and pelvis.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Becker muscular dystrophy is very similar to , except that it gets worse at a much slower rate.
Females rarely develop symptoms. Males will develop symptoms if they inherit the defective gene. Symptoms usually appear in boys at about age 12, but may begin later.
Signs and tests
The health care provider will do a nervous system (neurological) and muscle examination. A careful medical history is also important, because the pattern of symptom development resembles that of Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy. However, Becker muscular dystrophy gets worse much more slowly.
There is no known cure for Becker muscular dystrophy. The goal of treatment is to control symptoms to maximize the person’s quality of life. Some doctors prescribe steroids to help keep a patient walking for as long as possible.
Becker muscular dystrophy leads to slowly worsening disability, although the degree of disability varies. Some men may need a wheelchair, while others may only need to use walking aids such as canes or braces.
Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Daniel B. Hoch, PhD, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 3/9/2010