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Introduction to Muscular Dystrophies and Related Disorders

by Michael Rubin, MDCM

Muscular dystrophies are a group of inherited muscle disorders in which one or more genes needed for normal muscle structure and function are defective, leading to muscle weakness (see see Weakness) of varying severity. Other inherited muscle disorders include congenital myopathies, familial periodic paralysis, and glycogen storage diseases. Glycogen storage diseases are a group of rare inherited disorders in which muscles cannot metabolize sugars normally (see see Glycogen Storage Diseases), so they build up large stores of glycogen (a starch that is formed from sugars).