Muscular dystrophy is the name given to a group of inherited neuromuscular conditions. These conditions cause weakness and wasting of the muscles. This muscle wastage gets worse over time, and is not reversible.
There are more than 30 different types of muscular dystrophy. Most are caused by changes to genes involved in providing strength to the muscle structure.
There are around 30 other neuromuscular conditions that can be confused with muscular dystrophy due to their having similar symptoms. However, these conditions are caused by a different mechanism.