Typically, the first symptom of distal muscular dystrophy (DD) is weakness in the distal muscles — those farthest away from the hips and shoulders such as those in the hands, feet, lower arms or lower legs. With time, other muscle groups may become affected as well.
Intellect isn’t affected in this disease.
Although most forms of distal muscular dystrophy are progressive, age of onset and rate of progression can vary widely from one type to the next.
In most cases, muscle mass in the affected regions may become visibly wasted (decreased in size). In some cases, arms, leg or trunk muscles may weaken to the point where mobility and range of motion are limited.
Some forms of distal muscular dystrophy affect the muscles used for speaking or swallowing, and others may affect the heart.