This kind of muscular dystrophy is somewhat different from some other variations of the condition—and it often doesn’t show up until adulthood. Also known as Steinert’s disease, it is “the most common form of adult-onset muscular dystrophy,” notes the Mayo Clinic.
No matter when the symptoms begin, they are usually marked by progressive muscle weakness, notes the source. Let’s have a closer look at seven facts about this condition that affects about 30,000 people in the United States…
1. It’s Hereditary
According to the Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation, this particular condition is inherited and is caused by a gene mutation that “prevents the gene from carrying out its function properly.” The severity of the symptoms worsens with each generation.
The source also explains that either parent with the mutated gene have a 50-percent chance of passing it on to their children, although the child will not develop the disease if neither parent has it. Meanwhile, a variation of the condition called congenital myotonic dystrophy (present at birth) is most often inherited from the mother.