Duke’s muscular dystrophy experts provide personalized treatment options to people with muscular dystrophy - a group of diseases that weakens muscles over time. We help you maintain muscle strength and preserve mobility for as long as possible. Our comprehensive care services, combined with ongoing support, education and counseling, allows us to help you and your family cope with the life-changing effects of muscular dystrophy.
Expert Care for Muscular Dystrophy
Muscular dystrophy is a group of inherited diseases that damage your muscle fibers and weaken your muscles over time. There are many forms of muscular dystrophy including:
- Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
- Becker Muscular Dystrophy
- Emery-Dreifuss Muscular Dystrophy
- Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy
- Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy
- Myotonia Congenita
- Myotonic Dystrophy
Our doctors are experts in treating all forms of muscular dystrophy, as well as the conditions that may occur as the disease progresses. We use every therapy option available to preserve your strength and mobility for as long as possible, and also work with you and your family to give you the skills you need to live with muscular dystrophy. We provide ongoing emotional and psychological support to you and your family, to improve your quality of life now and in the future.
Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.
Your doctor will perform a physical examination and review your medical and family history. In addition, he may order one or more of the following tests:
Determines whether weakness you are experiencing is related to nerve or muscle disease. Techniques include nerve conduction studies in which electrodes are placed on the skin to stimulate nerves, as well as needle electromyography, which records and analyzes electrical activity in muscle.
Enzyme and Blood Tests
Measures an elevated muscle enzyme called creatine kinase and other conditions that may indicate a nerve or muscle disease.
Small amounts of muscle tissue and cells are obtained through a needle or small incision for examination under a microscope, as well as for biochemical and genetic evaluation.
Blood samples are examined for gene changes that may signal muscle disease.
When it comes to your care, you want the very best. Duke University Hospital's nationally ranked neurology and neurosurgery program was named best in North Carolina by U.S. News & World Report for 2019–2020.
Why Choose Duke
Designated Care Center
Duke is part of the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Care Center Network, which recognizes expert clinical care and medical research capabilities for people with muscular dystrophy.
Muscular dystrophy requires ongoing care from many different experts. We deliver streamlined, one-stop care for your medical and therapy needs. Your care team includes neurologists, nurse coordinators, adult or pediatric occupational therapists, physical therapists, a nutritionist, a genetic counselor, and a social worker.
We perform about 3,000 routine and specialized diagnostic procedures in our accredited electromyography (EMG) lab every year. Our high patient volume demonstrates our advanced training and skill in diagnosing all types of muscular dystrophy. Our EMG lab is fully accredited by the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine.
We work closely with you to create a personalized care plan that starts at the time of your initial diagnosis and continues long-term.
Leaders in Research
Our researchers are studying gene therapy options that may reverse the symptoms of some forms of muscular dystrophy. Our work helps us understand more about the origins of muscular dystrophy, which can help us develop more targeted and effective treatments for the future.