PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractDuchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is a genetic disorder characterized by progressive degeneration of muscle fibers and dystrophic changes on muscle biopsy¹. DMD accounts for approximately 50% of all dystrophinopathies, with around 21,000 male babies born with the disease each year², ³, ⁴, ⁵. It is also the most lethal X-linked recessive disorder as phenotypic traits are not immediately present at birth¹¹, ³. Patients usually do not live past their 20's without medical intervention to treat associated respiratory and cardiac dysfunctions¹¹, ³. For these reasons DMD remains one of the greatest threats, amongst a range of pediatric pathologies, to the normalcy of child development and parental care. Although treatment options have shown to mitigate the progression of DMD, most are controversial and costly - the estimated annual treatment cost of DMD per patient is $50,953⁵⁸. In light of this, disease awareness and public health education are critical components for acquiring funds needed for research towards a cure¹². My hope is that through this integrated overview of DMD, the medical layman will better understand the depths of this lethal disease, and how it can be detrimental to both the affected child and his caretaker.
Degree ProgramHonors College