Duchenne | and you

Treatment Overview


Early intervention is key to preserve muscles and mobility

With early detection, a child with Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), can get treatment to slow the progress of the disease. This means that your child or young person may stay mobile longer and live more independently and longer than they would without specialized care and management.

Parents and caregivers can 

  • Work with the medical team to decide on the best treatment options
  • Follow DMD support strategies to help make sure the child has the best chance of fulfilling their potential
  • A DMD diagnosis is devastating news—but medications and treatments like physiotherapy can help maintain muscles and joints. With the right care, a child may live longer and stay mobile longer, too


Three ways appropriate treatment can help:

Slowing disease progression

Controlling symptoms

Maintaining independence
and quality of life


What treatments are available for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy?

There are 2 main types of DMD treatments:


Prescription drugs that help slow the loss of muscle function and treat the symptoms of DMD.

Supportive care

Treatments like physiotherapy, heart monitoring and breathing support that help patients function and feel better by avoiding complications from DMD.


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The information on this site is not intended to make a diagnosis or to take the place of talking to a US health care professional.

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Date of preparation: September 2022

Important Terms and Concepts

Basic terms and key definitions

Neuromuscular disorders

Neuromuscular disorders affect the muscles and nerves, and most of the causes are genetic. This means they are either passed down through the family or caused by changes in an individual person’s genes.

Most neuromuscular disorders cause muscle weakness that worsens over time. Signs and symptoms of neuromuscular diseases can vary and may be mild, moderate, or severe.

Most often, when a child has a neuromuscular disease, they don’t grow and develop as fast as other children their age. They are often slow to start lifting their head, sitting, walking, and talking.

Treatment and supportive care may improve the symptoms of a neuromuscular disorder, increasing mobility and even life expectancy.

Muscular dystrophy

Muscular dystrophy is the term for a group of neuromuscular disorders that cause muscle weakness and muscle loss.

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a type of muscular dystrophy that causes muscle weakness that worsens over time. The progression and symptoms can vary from person to person.