Muscular dystrophy is a progressive degeneration of skeletal muscles from an as yet unknown biochemical defect within the muscle. Duchenne's muscular dystrophy has an incidence of about 3 per 100,000 and is inherited as a recessive single gene defect on the X chromosome, which means it is transmitted from the mother to her male offspring. Another form of dystrophy, Becker's muscular dystrophy, is similarly X-linked but has its onset later in childhood or adolescence and has a slower course. Other heredity disorders include Landouzy-Dejerine dystrophy (fascioscapulohumeral) and Erb's dystrophy (limb-girdle).

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