By Mayo Clinic Staff

Certain genes are involved in making proteins that protect muscle fibers from damage. Muscular dystrophy occurs when one of these genes is defective.

Each form of muscular dystrophy is caused by a genetic mutation particular to that type of the disease. Many of these mutations are inherited. But some occur spontaneously in the mother's egg or the developing embryo and can be passed on to the next generation.

Nov. 27, 2014