Distal Muscular Dystrophy (DD)

2012 AAN Meeting: Limb-Girdle MD, Distal MD Briefs

The 2012 annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), held in New Orleans April 21-28, included findings related to limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD) and distal muscular dystrophy.

DD/LGMD - Robert Bloch, Ph.D.

MDA has awarded a research grant totaling $362,295 over a period of three years to Robert Bloch, a professor in the department of physiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. The funds will help support Bloch's study of the role of a protein called dysferlin in type 2B limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD2B) and distal muscular dystrophy (DD, or Miyoshi myopathy).

MDA Awards $13.7 Million in Research Grants

The Muscular Dystrophy Association has awarded 40 research grants totaling $13.7 million to advance the understanding of disease processes and uncover new strategies for treatments and cures of muscular dystrophy and the more than 40 other diseases in the Association's program.

The new grants were recommended by MDA's Scientific and Medical Advisory Committees and approved by MDA's Board of Directors at its July 2011 meeting.

Research Briefs: FA, MG, MM, MMD1, gene therapy

Edison drugs target FA, mitochondrial diseases

Clinical Trials

About clinical trials

A clinical trial is a test in humans of an experimental medication or therapy. Clinical trials are experiments, not treatments, and participation requires careful consideration.

Although it's possible to benefit from participating in a clinical trial, it's also possible that no benefit — or even harm — may occur. Keep your MDA clinic doctor informed about any clinical trial participation. (Note that MDA has no ability to influence who is chosen to participate in a clinical trial.)

Research

Recent MDA-supported research in distal muscular dystrophy (DD) has concentrated on understanding how the gene defects that cause this diverse group of diseases affect the proteins made from these genes, and in turn how these protein abnormalities affect muscle tissue.

When the protein and tissue abnormalities are understood, it is hoped, potential avenues of treatment will reveal themselves.

Medical Management

Problems and solutions in distal muscular dystrophy (DD)

Forearm and hand weakness

Your MDA clinic can refer you to an occupational therapist who can help you get the most out of your hand and forearm muscles in performing day-to-day activities. Often, the therapist can recommend devices that may improve grip strength or help support your arms for using a keyboard or eating.

Lower leg and foot weakness

Causes/Inheritance

What causes distal muscular dystrophy (DD)?

All the forms of muscular dystrophy are inherited — that is, they’re caused by mutations (changes) in a person’s genes. Our genes are made of DNA and reside in our chromosomes. Each gene contains the “recipe” for a different protein and its variations, and these proteins are necessary for our bodies to function correctly.

Diagnosis

What tests are used to diagnose distal muscular dystrophy (DD)?

In diagnosing any form of muscular dystrophy, a doctor usually begins by taking a patient and family history and performing a physical examination. Much can be learned from these, including the pattern of weakness. The history and physical go a long way toward making the diagnosis, even before any complicated diagnostic tests are done.

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