Did You Know?
Since the prefix dys- means "bad" or "difficult", dystrophy is always a negative term. Originally it meant "a condition caused by improper nutrition", but today the term is instead used for a variety of other conditions, particularly conditions that noticeably affect the muscles. Of the many types of muscular dystrophy, the best known is Duchenne's, a terrible disease that strikes about one in 3,300 males and produces severe wasting of the muscles. However, the muscular dystrophies generally affect many other organs and systems as well. And the other dystrophies, which tend to involve the eyes or hands, don't much resemble the muscular dystrophies.
Origin and Etymology of dystrophy
New Latin dystrophia, from dys- + -trophia -trophy
First Known Use: 1901
Medical Definition of dystrophy
1: a condition produced by faulty nutrition <waters with a high fluorine content are responsible for the dental dystrophy known as mottled enamel—Lancet>
2: any myogenic atrophy; especially : muscular dystrophy
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