Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD)

DMD Research: Potential Heart Saver

A synthetic compound that seals cellular membranes has been found to stop the progression of heart-muscle destruction in dogs with a disease closely resembling human Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), MDA-supported researchers have found.

DMD/BMD Research: Ataluren Results Disappointing

The biopharmaceutical firm PTC Therapeutics announced March 3 that ataluren, its experimental drug for certain forms of Duchenne (DMD) and Becker (BMD) muscular dystrophy, although safe and well tolerated, failed to meet its primary end point within the 48-week duration of the phase 2b trial. That end point was an improvement in how far boys with DMD or BMD could walk in six minutes.

Cardiomyopathy in Becker MD

This story was updated Oct. 6, 2010.

In many forms of muscular dystrophy, including Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD), weakness and degeneration of the cardiac muscle can be a major part of the disease, and one that frequently shortens life.

DMD, BMD: Tests Start of Experimental Utrophin Drug

 A small, orally administered molecule designed to increase production of the muscle protein utrophin, is being tested in healthy volunteers, according to its developer, BioMarin Pharmaceutical of Novato, Calif.

Parent Survey in DMD, BMD, CMD and SMA

There’s often quite a gap between the time when parents first have worries about their infant or child and when they finally learn the child has a neuromuscular disease.

The National Task Force for the Early Identification of Childhood Neuromuscular Disorders is conducting a survey to learn more about parents' first concerns about their children and how they described those concerns to their health care providers, as part of an effort to reduce the time it takes for families to get an accurate diagnosis of neuromuscular disorders. 

DMD, BMD: Trial of Ataluren in Nonwalkers

Update (March 3, 2010): An update to the article Ataluren Results Disappointing was posted.

MDA Awards $21 Million for Research

In December 2009, MDA awarded $21 million in new research grants for neuromuscular disease research.

MDA's Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) and Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) meet each fall and spring to review applications for research grants. Applications are scored on the basis of the capabilities of the applicant, the scientific merit of the project, and the proposal's relevance to developing treatments for the diseases in MDA's program. MDA's Board of Directors then reviews the recommendations of the MAC and SAC.

New Grant For LGMD2D Gene Therapy

Development of delivery of a therapeutic gene via the bloodstream to the thigh muscles in people with type 2D limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD2D) is proceeding on schedule, thanks in part to a new $458,814 grant from MDA to neurologist Jerry Mendell at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

MDA's Board of Directors approved the new funding, via the Association's translational research/MDA Venture Philanthropy program, on Dec. 4, 2009.

Exon-Skipping Drug Delivers Again

Interim results from a human clinical trial of the exon-skipping compound AVI4658 in boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) show that when the compound is delivered to the whole body via the bloodstream — rather than simply injected into a foot muscle as in a previous trial — it appears safe and leads to production of the missing muscle protein dystrophin.

Big Horses, Big Time

"Pa, I’m gettin' darn tired of goin’ down there and comin’ back with second place."

Robert Powell, 14, ordinarily is a young man of very few words. But when the subject is horse-pulling contests, it garners the full attention of this lad from Pleasuresville, Ky.

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