A Comprehensive Review of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy: Genetics, Clinical Presentation, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Kylie A. Limback

College of Osteopathic Medicine, Kansas City University, Kansas City, MO, United States of America.

William D. Jacobus

College of Osteopathic Medicine, Kansas City University, Kansas City, MO, United States of America.

Amber Wiggins-McDaniel

College of Biosciences, Kansas City University, Kansas City, MO, United States of America.

Ramon Newman

College of Osteopathic Medicine, Kansas City University, Kansas City, MO, United States of America.

Robert A. White *

College of Biosciences, Kansas City University, Kansas City, MO, United States of America.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is a genetic disorder involving progressive muscle deterioration leading to loss of mobility, cardiomyopathy, and respiratory complications leading to an early death by the fourth decade of life. Males are affected more often as DMD results from a mutation in the dystrophin gene residing on the X chromosome. The DMD genetic mutation results in a complete functional lack of dystrophin, which culminates as an inadequate connection between the intracellular actin filaments and the extracellular skeleton of muscle. Boys affected by DMD clinically present with muscle weakness before age five, are often wheelchair-bound by age 12, and rarely survive beyond the third decade of life.

Traditional treatment strategies have focused primarily on quality-of-life improvement and have included the use of glucocorticoids and physical therapy. No cure currently exists, however many novel treatments for DMD are currently being explored. Some of these involve gene therapy, exon skipping, stop codon skipping, CRISPR technology interventions, and the use of a retinal dystrophin isoform. In this comprehensive review, we recapitulate the literature findings to summarize the history, epidemiology, genetics, clinical presentation, diagnosis, and current and future strategies for the treatment of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Keywords: Duchenne muscular dystrophy, dystrophin, retinal dystrophin, antisense oligonucleotide, treatments, diagnosis, symptoms, genetics

How to Cite

Limback, K. A., Jacobus, W. D., Wiggins-McDaniel, A., Newman, R., & White, R. A. (2022). A Comprehensive Review of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy: Genetics, Clinical Presentation, Diagnosis, and Treatment. Biotechnology Journal International, 26(6), 1–31. https://doi.org/10.9734/bji/2022/v26i6662


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