Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy (LGMD)

Research Briefs: Stem Cells

Stem cells are a hot topic these days in medicine, science and law, although the term has multiple meanings and it's easy to get confused.

In short, stem cells are cells at an early stage of development from which specialized cells, such as muscle or nerve cells, can develop (in other words, from which these specialized cells "stem").

Different kinds of stem cells are referred to as:

Researchers Exploring Disability Perceptions

Researchers at the Psychology of Disability Lab at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor are exploring the social identity of people with disabilities through a short, anonymous, Web-based questionnaire.

The lab's Disability Identity Project is being headed by principal investigator Adena Rottenstein, a doctoral candidate in psychology.

The study closes the week of Aug. 22, 2011.

Research Briefs: BMD, DMD, EDMD, FA, LGMD, OPMD, Pompe disease, SMA

Idebenone may help maintain respiratory function in DMD

Santhera Pharmaceuticals announced May 9, 2011, that its drug Catena (generic name idebenone) appears to slow the decline in respiratory function associated with aging in people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Idebenone may improve energy production in muscle and nerve cells.

AAN Research Briefs on DM, DMD, LGMD, MG, MMD, SMA

Below are brief reports and links to more information about neuromuscular disease research presented at the 63rd annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), held in Honolulu April 9-16, 2011.

Research Briefs: CMT, IBM, LGMD, MTM/CNM, Pompe disease

Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease

A two-year, large-scale trial of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in people with type 1A Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT1A) conducted in Italy and the United Kingdom has found the substance had no significant effect on the disease compared with a placebo. Ascorbic acid was taken orally at 1.5 grams per day in this study. An ongoing U.S.-based trial (now closed to recruitment) is testing ascorbic acid in CMT1A at a dosage of 4 grams per day for two years.

MDA Conference Brings Together Researchers, Clinicians, Industry

Moving therapeutic strategies from the laboratory to clinical trials and ultimately to the market as treatments was the theme of the MDA National Scientific Conference held March 13-16, 2011, in Las Vegas.

Some 300 people attended the conference, the first in a planned series of such MDA-sponsored meetings that will emphasize new research and current medical care. The majority of presenters and many of the audience members were current or former MDA research grantees or physicians at MDA-supported clinics.

Research Briefs: CMS, DMD, LGMD, Pompe, Stem Cells

Congenital myasthenic syndromes

A multinational team of scientists has identified mutations in the gene for glutamine-fructose-6-phosphate transaminase 1 (GFPT1) as responsible for some forms of a congenital myasthenic syndrome (CMS).

MDA Awards $13.5 Million in Research Grants

The Muscular Dystrophy Association has awarded 44 grants totaling $13.5 million to support research efforts aimed at advancing understanding of disease processes and uncovering 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 reviewed by MDA’s Scientific and Medical Advisory Committees, and approved by MDA’s Board of Directors at its December meeting.

Muscle Disease Quality-of-Life Study Seeks Participants

Researchers at the University of Michigan are seeking 30 young adults, ages 18-29, who have had symptoms of certain forms of muscular dystrophy or myopathy since birth, to complete an online survey that asks about their perceived quality of life and level of independence.

The study also is recruiting 30 adults with no neuromuscular disease.

Results will be used to identify ways that counselors and therapists can address specific factors considered important by people with congenital muscle diseases (present at or near birth).

Pages