Muscular Dystrophies

DMD/BMD Drug Screen in Zebrafish Finds Three Candidates

Three small molecules that normalize muscle structure and function and improve survival in dystrophin-deficient zebrafish have been identified by scientists at Children's Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School, and Alaska Fisheries Science Center in Juneau.

The three chemicals, which already are approved for other medical uses, were found to increase survival and normalize muscle structure and function in the dystrophin-deficient fish without increasing  production of the muscle protein dystrophin. 

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.

IL10 Protein May Influence DMD Severity

A team of researchers at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) has demonstrated that the naturally occurring protein interleukin 10 (IL10) may help reduce harmful inflammation and promote muscle regeneration in people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), and potentially those with other forms of muscular dystrophy.

MDA supported James Tidball, director of the Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Research Center at UCLA, for this work.

Boy with DMD 'Outswims' Olympian Michael Phelps

Logan Mitzel has one word for his swim with Olympic champion Michael Phelps: “awesome.”

The 11-year-old from Aurora, Ill., who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and relies on a manual wheelchair for mobility, loves to swim so much that in 2010 he completed a streak of swimming every day for 77 consecutive days.

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).

Research Briefs: CMT, CMS, DMD/BMD, FA, Pompe disease, SBMA

UCLA Researcher Receives MDA Grant to Develop DMD Drug

A new MDA translational research grant for $476,465 over three years will allow Carmen Bertoni at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to develop RTC13, an experimental compound designed to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD) caused by a specific type of flaw in the gene for the muscle protein dystrophin.

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.

Doctors Talk Heart to Heart

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).

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