Congenital Muscular Dystrophy

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

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It is possible that the main title of the report Congenital Muscular Dystrophy is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.


  • CMD

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion


Congenital muscular dystrophy (CMD) is a general term for a group of genetic muscle diseases that occur at birth (congenital) or early during infancy. CMDs are generally characterized by diminished muscle tone (hypotonia), which is sometimes referred to as "floppy baby"; progressive muscle weakness and degeneration (atrophy); abnormally fixed joints that occur when thickening and shortening of tissue such as muscle fibers cause deformity and restrict the movement of an affected area (contractures); spinal rigidity, and delays in reaching motor milestones such as sitting or standing unassisted. Feeding difficulties and breathing (respiratory) complications can develop in some cases. Muscle weakness may improve, remain stable or worsen. Some forms of CMD may be associated with structural brain defects and, potentially, intellectual disability. The severity, specific symptoms, and progression of these disorders vary greatly. Most forms of CMD are inherited as autosomal recessive traits. Collage type VI-related disorders can be inherited as either autosomal dominant or autosomal recessive conditions. LMNA-related CMD is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner, with all mutations reported to date being new mutations (de novo).


CMDs belong to a larger group of disorders known as the muscular dystrophies. The muscular dystrophies characterized by weakness and degeneration of various voluntary muscles of the body. More than 30 different disorders make up the muscular dystrophies. The disorders affect different muscles and have different ages of onset, severity and inheritance patterns. As researchers have learned more about the CMDs, such as identifying many of the specific genes involved, a broader picture of these diseases has emerged. The subtypes of CMD have considerable overlap with other disease classifications including the congenital myopathies, disorders of glycosylation, and the limb-girdle muscular dystrophies. CMDs are a rapidly growing disease family and information about these disorders is constantly changing.

Supporting Organizations

Child Neurology Foundation

201 Chicago Ave, #200
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Tel: (952)641-6100
Fax: (952)881-6276
Tel: (877)263-5430

Cure CMD (Congenital Muscular Dystrophy)

P.O. Box 701
Olathe, KS 66051
Tel: (866)400-3626

European Alliance of Neuromuscular Disorders Associations

MDG Malta 4
Gzira Road
Gzira, GAR 04
Tel: 35621346688
Fax: 35621318024

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center

PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311

Global FKRP Registry

Institute of Genetic Medicine
Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 3BZ
United Kingdom
Tel: 4401912418617
Fax: 4401912418770

Muscular Dystrophy Association

3300 East Sunrise Drive
Tucson, AZ 85718-3208
Tel: (520)529-2000
Fax: (520)529-5300
Tel: (800)572-1717

Muscular Dystrophy Campaign

61 Southwark Street
London, SE1 0HL
United Kingdom
Tel: 2078034800

NIH/National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Information Clearinghouse
One AMS Circle
Bethesda, MD 20892-3675
Tel: (301)495-4484
Fax: (301)718-6366
Tel: (877)226-4267

NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

P.O. Box 5801
Bethesda, MD 20824
Tel: (301)496-5751
Fax: (301)402-2186
Tel: (800)352-9424

Society for Muscular Dystrophy Information International

P.O. Box 7490
Nova Scotia, B4V 2X6
Tel: 9026853961
Fax: 9026853962

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site or email

Last Updated:  12/10/1969
Copyright  2013 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.