A group of diseases that lead to weakness and loss of muscle mass. They are primarily caused by abnormal gene mutations that interfere with the production healthy muscle proteins. There are many different types of muscular dystrophy and some of the most common types present in early childhood and particularly in males. While symptoms may vary from case to case, most patients will eventually lose their ability to walk. Some may also develop trouble breathing or swallowing. Unfortunately, there is no cure for muscular dystrophy, with therapy and medication only slowing down the disease.