Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is the most common fatal and horrific genetic condition to affect children; it is caused by the body not being able to produce a protein called dystrophin. It is a very serious condition that causes progressive muscle weakness, which includes the lungs and the heart.
The onset of symptoms is difficult to recognise at this stage, but children affected are typically slower than peers, experience difficulty in jumping, hopping, running and climbing stairs, will tire easily and ask to be carried frequently, particularly long distances.
During this phase children will increasingly struggle with walking, fatigue is common.
By the age of 12 most children are in a powered wheelchair on a regular basis. Weakness in arms will develop but will retain use of fingers.
Symptoms of heart and lung complications start to occur; most boys will die in their early twenties from these complications.