In 1950, a group of adults with neuromuscular diseases and parents of children with these disorders joined forces to form the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Recognized by the American Medical Association "for significant and lasting contributions to the health and welfare of humanity," MDA raises funds to defeat more than 40 forms of neuromuscular disease through programs of worldwide research, health care and support services, professional and public health education, and advocacy. The Association provides services in the United States and Puerto Rico through 120 local offices.
MDA’s programs are funded almost entirely by the voluntary contributions of concerned individuals and cooperating organizations. These programs include:
MDA is among the foremost funders in the world of research into neuromuscular diseases. MDA-funded scientists are at the cutting edge of research into cell-based therapies and testing of potential treatments for the more than 40 diseases under its umbrella. For the most current research news, visit Hope Through Research.
At facilities in MDA’s nationwide network of clinics, individuals receive diagnostic and follow-up care from expert teams of muscle disease specialists. (For more, read MDA Is Help.)
You are not alone. MDA is here every step of the way, providing resources and guidance, assistance locating and repairing needed equipment, support groups, summer camps for youngsters, online “e-communities” and much more. (See also MDA Is Community.)
Knowledge is power. MDA conducts educational programs for individuals with neuromuscular diseases, the general public and medical professionals, including publishing a wide variety of print and audiovisual materials, and maintaining this website. MDA sponsors scientific symposia and other professional meetings to increase knowledge of neuromuscular disease among medical professionals. (For more on MDA's available resources, see MDA Is Information.)
MDA’s advocacy efforts are committed to making life better for people with neuromuscular diseases by providing representation in matters of public policy and research advancement, nationally and internationally; and by facilitating active involvement in these areas by the people it serves. (See MDA Is Empowerment for information on Advocacy initiatives and how to become an advocate in your community.)
The first step to access MDA services is attending an MDA clinic to confirm your diagnosis of one of the neuromuscular diseases covered by MDA.
If the disease diagnosed is not covered by MDA, referrals will be made to an appropriate health or community agency.
Assistance with medical services
MDA will assist with payment for select services through MDA clinics or local medical equipment providers. To maximize MDA resources, payment is made after private and public insurance and/or other resources have paid. Please be sure to contact the MDA office in your area before ordering services, if MDA payment is desired.
"When our son was first diagnosed, we didn't know anything about muscular dystrophy. Within 24 hours, we had contacted the Muscular Dystrophy Association and that was a fantastic move to make. We learned throughout that there was hope."
— Doriann Myers, Nevada, parent of a child affected by Duchenne muscular dystrophy