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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Myotonic dystrophy type 1


Other Names for this Disease
  • DM1
  • Dystrophia myotonica type 1
  • Steinert disease
  • Steinert myotonic dystrophy
  • Steinert's disease
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Your Question

My girlfriend's grandmother has Myotonic dystrophy type 1.  Fortunately neither my girlfriend's mother nor father is affected, but this disease is quite common in her mother's family.  I want to know the probability that either my girlfriend or our children could get this disease.

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

How is myotonic dystrophy type 1 inherited?

Myotonic dystrophy type 1 is inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern, which means one copy of the altered gene in each cell is sufficient to cause the disorder. In most cases, an affected person has one affected parent. [1]

As myotonic dystrophy is passed from one generation to the next, the disorder generally begins earlier in life and signs and symptoms become more severe. This phenomenon is called anticipation

Some individuals diagnosed with Myotonic dystrophy type 1 have an obviously affected parent; others do not. A parent may appear to be unaffected because symptoms may be mild or absent. Genetic testing is available to confirm the presence of the condition. [1]
Last updated: 5/11/2011

How can I find a genetics professional in my area?

Genetics clinics are a source of information for individuals and families regarding genetic conditions, treatment, inheritance, and genetic risks to other family members. More information about genetic consultations is available from Genetics Home Reference. To find a genetics clinic, we recommend that you contact your primary healthcare provider for a referral.

The following online resources can help you find a genetics professional in your community:
Last updated: 10/18/2013

References