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Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy is a condition that affects the joints, muscles, and heart. Joint symptoms tend to present in childhood and involve contractures of the elbows, ankles, and neck. Children and adults with this dystrophy usually experience slowly worsening muscle weakness and wasting. By adulthood, most people with Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy develop heart problems, such as conduction defects and arrhythmias. Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy is caused by mutations in the EMD and LMNA genes. It can be inherited in an X-linked, autosomal dominant, or autosomal recessive fashion.