Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is characterized by progressive muscle weakness involving the face, scapular stabilizers, upper arm, lower leg (peroneal muscles), and hip girdle [Tawil et al 1998]. Asymmetry of limb and/or shoulder weakness is common [Kilmer et al 1995]. Typically, individuals with FSHD become symptomatic in their teens, but age of onset is variable. More than 90% of affected individuals demonstrate findings by age 20 years. Individuals with severe infantile FSHD have muscle weakness at birth. In contrast, some individuals remain asymptomatic throughout their lives. Progression is usually slow and continuous; however, many affected individuals describe a stuttering course with periods of disease inactivity followed by periods of rapid deterioration. Eventually 20% of affected individuals require a wheelchair.
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