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.
Dwain has been painting for many years, and worked as a goldsmith and silversmith for 20 years. He was fortunate to visit Zeeland, located in southwest Netherlands, as winter was morphing into spring. Dwain used a heavy impasto underpainting denoting the spring winds and the earth erupting with a full bounty of blooming bulbs. He is a member of the Paducah Area Painters Alliance and exhibits works in their co-op gallery in Paducah.
Ariane was an accomplished New York artist whose works are in many permanent collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Her stylized representational figures and exuberant use of color were distinctly her own.
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.)
Throughout the 1990s and the first decade of the 21st century, MDA-supported researchers identified dozens of genes that, when defective, cause LGMD.
This gene identification work continues to the present day, along with research to determine the precise function of these genes so that missing functions can be compensated for and toxic functions can be inhibited.
Simple devices like a cane or a long-handled reacher can make things easier as weakness progresses.
A power wheelchair or scooter becomes convenient when weakness in the pelvic girdle and upper legs causes frequent falls. People whose LGMD has reached this stage often find that a great deal of their independence returns, and they’re much less fatigued when they begin using this type of mobility equipment.
There are at least 19 forms of LGMD, and they’re classified by the genetic flaws that appear to cause them. Some 15 specific genes that lead to production of muscle proteins have been implicated as definite causes of LGMD when they’re flawed. MDA research was behind much of the work that identified these LGMD genes.
Genes, located on chromosomes in each cell in the body, are the codes, or recipes, for production of the body’s various proteins. The genes associated with LGMD normally make proteins necessary for muscle function.
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 laboratory tests are done.
The doctor also wants to determine whether the patient’s weakness results from a problem in the muscles themselves (as is the case in muscular dystrophy), or in the muscle-controlling nerves, called motor neurons, that control them.