Mitochondrial Myopathy

New Forms of Genetic Testing Improve Diagnosis, Raise Questions

“Knowing, if not all, is almost all,” said Matthew Harms, a neurologist and neurophysiologist from Washington University in St. Louis, in his presentation on genetic testing for neuromuscular disorders at the 2014 MDA Clinical Conference, held in Chicago March 16-19.

MDA Awards $8.5 Million to 31 Neuromuscular Disease Research Projects

In its summer 2013 round of research grant awards, the Muscular Dystrophy Association aims to catalyze research progress in a dozen neuromuscular diseases, with an eye toward applying that knowledge to related muscle diseases, as well.

“A large number of our grants are investigating new therapeutic technologies,” notes Jane Larkindale, MDA's vice president of research. “These are 'platform' technologies, where successes can be transferred well beyond the specific disease in which they are developed and tested.”

Mito. Myopathy — Marilena D’Aurelio, Ph.D.

Marilena D’Aurelio, assistant research professor at Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York City, was awarded an MDA research grant totaling $300,000 over a period of three years to test whether dietary supplementation can be therapeutic in mitochondrial myopathies.

‘Focused, Intense’ MDA Conference Advances Neuromuscular Disease Research

Turning neuromuscular disease research into treatments as quickly and effectively as possible was the overarching theme of dozens of formal presentations, nearly 200 scientific posters, and countless informal conversations at the MDA Scientific Conference, April 21-24.

A palpable sense of excitement pervaded the sold-out event thanks to the unprecedented number of experimental treatments in clinical trials for neuromuscular diseases, and the unique opportunity the conference provided for information-sharing and collaboration among scientific professionals from many disciplines.

Research Briefs: DMD, Leigh Syndrome, MG, Periodic Paralysis, Pompe Disease

Drug development and identifying new leads for possible drug development are in the news for five neuromuscular diseases in MDA’s program.

New Guidelines on Genetic Testing in Children

As scientists learn more about what our DNA can tell us about health and disease, public interest has intensified and genetic testing has become increasingly common. In response, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) have released new guidelines to address updated technologies and new uses of genetic testing and screening in children.

$13.6 Million in New MDA Grants Promote Understanding, Treatment of Neuromuscular Diseases

The Muscular Dystrophy Association has awarded 44 new grants totaling $13.6 million to advance the understanding and treatment of neuromuscular diseases. The new grants, most of which took effect Feb. 1, encompass a range of diseases covered by MDA’s research program, and they support innovative approaches to basic research and new drug development.

In addition to addressing 16 specific neuromuscular diseases under MDA’s umbrella, the grants also fund research into muscular dystrophy in general, and research into muscle physiology related to neuromuscular disease.

Mitochondrial Myopathies — Eric Schon, Ph.D.

Eric Schon, professor of neurology at the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Columbia University in New York, was awarded an MDA research grant totaling $405,000 over a period of three years to develop strategies for treatment of mitochondrial myopathies.

Friedreich’s Ataxia: Drug Enters Phase 2b Clinical Trial

Edison Pharmaceuticals has launched a phase 2b clinical trial of its experimental drug EPI-743 in adults with Friedreich's ataxia (FA) to assess whether the drug has positive effects on visual function, neurological and neuromuscular function, and disease-associated biomarkers.

Help in the Hurricane: How Social Media Rescued a Man with Mitochondrial Myopathy

“As you all know, being the creative type that I am, I love do-it-yourself projects … However, I found myself in the middle of a rather unusual project, which involved a lot of creative ‘thinking outside of the box,’ and it was more than just a do-it-yourself. It was more of a ‘do it ourselves’ project. And we did it. Successfully. Here’s the story of how we helped Nick Dupree.”

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