DMD Vs Becker Muscular Dystrophy: Know the Differences

DMD Vs Becker Muscular Dystrophy

DMD Vs Becker Muscular Dystrophy: Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) and Becker Muscular Dystrophy (BMD) are both types of muscular dystrophy, which are genetic disorders characterized by progressive muscle weakness and degeneration. Both mostly affect the heart (cardiac) muscle and the skeletal muscles, which are needed for movement. The majority of cases of these muscular dystrophies are found in men. The Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophies are caused by distinct mutations in the same gene, yet they exhibit comparable signs and symptoms.

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD)

  • Most prevalent genetic neuromuscular condition
  • Shows no preference for any particular race or ethnic group
  • Symptoms include calf muscle hypertrophy (increase in muscle size), difficulty climbing and walking, toe walking, etc
  • One cannot avoid Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), as it is a genetic disorder.

Becker Muscular Dystrophy (BMD)

  • BMD is a recessive X-linked disorder caused by a dystrophin gene mutation. 
  • BMD has comparatively milder symptoms compared to DMD
  • Symptoms include trouble lifting heavy loads, calf muscles that look bigger than usual, even though they're weaker, etc
  • Symptoms typically develop more slowly and tend to progress later in infancy, adolescence, or even adulthood.

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Difference Between DMD and Becker Muscular Dystrophy (BMD)

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) and Becker Muscular Dystrophy (BMD) are closely related types of muscular dystrophy. Following are the differences between Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) and Becker Muscular Dystrophy (BMD)

Features

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD)

Becker Muscular Dystrophy (BMD)

Dystrophin gene

Absent or not operational

Partially operational

Age of onset

3-5 years

12 years

Causes

Genetic mutation on X chromosome

Symptoms

Calf muscle hypertrophy, developmental delay, scoliosis(spine curvature) 



Low tolerance for exercise, muscle pain, Frequent falls and fatigue.

Diagnostics

Muscle Biopsy, Blood tests, Genetic testing and family history

Treatment

corticosteroids prednisone and deflazacort 

no known cure 

Life Expectancy

30 years

40-50 years

Disease Progression

Fast

Slow

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What is Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD)?

A genetic condition known as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is characterized by increasing weakening and degradation of the muscles. It mostly affects men and is one of the most prevalent and severe types of muscular dystrophy. DMD is one of four conditions known as dystrophinopathies. 

Causes:

Mutations in the dystrophin gene, which is found on the X chromosome, result in DMD or the absence of dystrophin due to mutations in the dystrophin gene causing degeneration and injury to muscle fibers.

Symptoms: 

Symptoms include 

  • Progressive muscle weakness, particularly in the legs and pelvis, 
  • Calf muscle enlargement, 
  • Frequent falls, and difficulty getting up from a sitting or lying position, 
  • Cardiac and respiratory complications include the weakening of heart muscles.

Treatment: DMD now has no known cure, although several therapies can help control symptoms and enhance quality of life. These include exercises and physical treatment which are necessary to keep muscles flexible and strong, mobility-enhancing assistive technology, such as wheelchairs, walkers, and braces, medicines to control problems and symptoms.

What is Becker Muscular Dystrophy (BMD)?

BeckerMuscular Dystrophy (BMD) is a genetic disorder that belongs to the spectrum of muscular dystrophies, nonetheless, BMD often progresses and is milder than DMD in terms of severity. BMD patients often have a minimum of 30 years of life. Their average death age is in the middle of the 40s. Heart failure resulting from dilated cardiomyopathy is the primary cause of death for people with BMD which is similar to Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).

Causes: Like DMD, BMD is caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene, which is located on the X chromosome. However, in BMD, there is additional abnormal production of the dystrophin protein.

Symptoms: Symptoms include 

  • Muscle deterioration, 
  • Low tolerance for exercise, 
  • Difficulty walking up stairs, 
  • Cardiomyopathy, 
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Learning differences.

Treatment: Currently there is no known cure for BMD, although there are several therapies that can help control symptoms and enhance quality of life. These include exercises and physical treatment which are necessary to keep muscles flexible and strong, mobility-enhancing assistive technology, such as wheelchairs, walkers, and braces, medicines to control problems and symptoms.

Similarities between Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) and Becker Muscular Dystrophy (BMD).

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) and Becker Muscular Dystrophy (BMD) are both genetic disorders that belong to the spectrum of muscular dystrophies. While they have their differences there are some similarities between them as well.

  • Genetic Cause: Both DMD and BMD are caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene located on the X chromosome.
  • Muscle weakness: Muscle weakness in both disorders usually starts in the shoulder girdle and pelvic muscles and spreads to other muscle groups throughout the body.
  • Pseudohypertrophy: Calf muscle enlargement, known as pseudohypertrophy, is a common clinical feature seen in both DMD and BMD. 
  • Respiratory and cardiology: Both DMD and BMD are associated with a heart condition called cardiomyopathy, this restricts our heart to do its proper functioning.

To conclude on the surface level DMD and BMD may seem to appear similar but diving deep into their features we do notice differences in both forms of muscular dystrophy caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene, they differ in terms of severity, onset, progression, and clinical features. Understanding these differences is crucial for precise diagnosis, suitable handling, and genetic guidance for impacted individuals, their families, and their relatives.

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FAQ's

What is the primary difference between DMD and BMD?

The primary difference includes the age of onset and the intensity of each of the disorders.

Which among DMD and BMD is more severe?

DMD is typically more severe and progresses more rapidly.

What are the similar symptoms among them?

Weak muscles, calf enlargement, and respiratory issues are all a few similar symptoms.

What is the main cause of DMD and BMD?

It is caused by a genetic mutation on one of the X chromosomes.

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