CAROL & MIKE WERNER / VISUALS UNLIMITED, INC. / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CAROL & MIKE WERNER / VISUALS UNLIMITED, INC. / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Muscular dystrophy includes a group of inherited diseases that cause weakness and loss of muscle tissue. In the foreground is shown shrunken muscle due to loss of tissue. Normal muscle is shown in the center. Muscle in which dead tissue is replaced by fat is shown at the top. Muscular dystrophy is believed to be caused by a defective dystrophin gene. When defective, this gene fails to make dystrophin (shown lower right), a protein essential for maintaining muscle.
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