QUICK GUIDE – Symptoms of DMD

A family member often notices something is wrong with the child’s muscle function. Boys who have DMD:

  • Walk later than other boys their age
  • Have trouble walking, running or climbing stairs
  • Fall easily
  • Tend to walk on their toes
  • Have delayed speech development
  • Use their hands and arms to push the body into an upright position (Gowers sign) due to weak hips and thigh muscles

If you suspect DMD, the first step is to ask your doctor to order a blood test. If your child has DMD, the results may show:

  • High levels of a muscle protein called creatine kinase (CK)
  • Unexpectedly high levels of specific liver enzymes: AST and ALT

These results alone will not confirm a diagnosis of DMD, as they can occur in other muscle conditions. Your doctor will refer your child urgently to a neuromuscular specialist for further tests to find what’s wrong.