The nurse is educating a patient recently diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. When explaining the normal course of this disease, the nurse should know that the patient:


• Muscular dystrophy causes progressive skeletal muscle weakness (myopathy) and loss of muscle mass (atrophy) that is usually symmetrical. The extent of progression varies greatly from person to person.

• Muscular dystrophy is an inherited disorder that impairs the muscles ability to create the functional protein dystrophin. This leads to progressive muscle weakness and wasting.

• Since progression varies, telling the patient he or she will not be able to walk or control his bladder is inappropriate.

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