Becker muscular dystrophy

The severity of the condition varies between individuals. Some people with Becker muscular dystrophy may struggle with sport as children. Their muscle weakness may become more pronounced in their teens or 20s, causing difficulty in walking quickly, running and climbing stairs. In most cases, they will be able to walk into their 40s or 50s, but for some the decline in mobility will be faster.
Becker muscular dystrophy is caused when the body does not produce enough dystrophin (a vital muscle protein) or when the dystrophin does not work properly.

About 2,400 people in the UK have Becker muscular dystrophy, almost all of them male. Most people with the condition are diagnosed by the time they reach their 20s. Some are affected from childhood but others do not know they are affected until well into adulthood. It is not uncommon for several members of a family to be affected across generations.

The severity of the condition varies between individuals. Some people with Becker muscular dystrophy may struggle with sport as children.

Becker muscular dystrophy can also affect the muscles of the heart and muscles used for breathing. This can be dangerous if not treated. It is vital that people affected receive the right specialist care.

There is currently no treatment available targeting the underlying genetic cause of Becker muscular dystrophy. However, the condition is closely related to Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Much of the pioneering research into a treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy may also benefit those with Becker muscular dystrophy.

Muscular Dystrophy UK is funding cutting edge research by leading scientists into potential treatments for Becker and Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Find out more about Becker muscular dystrophy in our Becker muscular dystrophy condition factsheet.

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