Muscular Dystrophies

Research Briefs: ALS, DMD, MTM and SMA

Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Acceleron Pharma announced Aug. 4 that it has received fast track designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its experimental compound ACE031 for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). ACE031 is designed to interfere with the actions of myostatin, a protein that inhibits muscle growth.

Retiree with BMD is the Best at Beauty Pageants

Beauty pageants are not events that just happen by themselves, as Will Isgett can attest.

He’s one of 42 local executive directors of preliminary beauty pageants in South Carolina cities that culminate every year in the Miss South Carolina pageant. In 2010, the Miss South Carolina Board of Directors voted him the best of the bunch, for the pageant he directed in his hometown of Darlington.

Utah Researchers Seek CMD Families

Families affected by either of two forms of congenital muscular dystrophy (CMD), known as Ullrich CMD and Bethlem myopathy, are invited to help with an MDA-supported data collection project at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. The project's investigators are seeking to correlate genetic and clinical (symptom-related) information to improve understanding of these diseases and begin to develop treatments.

About Ullrich CMD and Bethlem myopathy

Biker with LGMD Creates His Own Accessible Motorcycle

The “passenger” in Steve Williams’ motorcycle sidecar doesn’t say much, but if it could talk, it probably would have plenty of stories to tell.

 Steve Williams explains how he and his brother outfitted this Honda Nighthawk with a special wheelchair-carrying sidecar.

The passenger is Williams’ manual wheelchair.

DMD Gene Repair Strategy Takes a Big Step Forward

A new generation of molecules — peptide nucleic acid single-stranded oligodeoxynucleotides or PNA-ssODNs — can help cells permanently repair errors in the dystrophin gene, fixing the underlying cause of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), researchers report.

The research group, headed by MDA grantee, Carmen Bertoni, at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), published its findings online June 23, 2010, in the journal Human Molecular Genetics.

First US Exon-Skipping Trial Opens

Update (Nov. 5, 2012): Results announced in November 2012 showed the drug, now called drisapersen, reached blood levels approximately proportional to the injected dose at two of the three dosage levels tested and was not associated with serious adverse events. See Drisapersen Appears Safe in Non-Walking Boys With DMD.

The Rap on MD: Teen with CMD releases album

Eighteen-year-old Austin Puckett — Puck — is an up-and-coming hip-hop (rap) artist from Waynesville, Ohio, who uses his experiences with congenital muscular dystrophy as inspiration for his musical career.

Puckett has released two albums, “Million Dollar Dreams” and “Still Wishing,” on which he both wrote and performed the lyrics. ReFraze Studios in Dayton handled recording of both. The albums convey upbeat messages about the challenges in Puckett’s life — with none of the violence or vulgarities often associated with rap.

OPMD: Cystamine Strengthens Muscles in Mice

Scientists in the United Kingdom have found that mice carrying a genetic mutation that causes oculpharyngeal muscular dystrophy (OPMD) in humans and showing a disease resembling human OPMD benefited from treatment with a chemical called cystamine, provided in their drinking water.

About the new findings

David Rubinsztein and colleagues at the University of Cambridge announced their findings June 2, 2010, in Science Translational Medicine.

DMD Trial: AVI4658 Increased Dystrophin Production

The biopharmaceutical company AVI BioPharma has announced additional encouraging results from its clinical trial of AVI4658, an experimental treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).

The new results show that, at higher doses, AVI4658 can result in substantial production of the needed dystrophin protein in muscle fibers.

The company has not yet released results of any tests of muscle function in the 19 children in this trial.

Comedian with EDMD Takes Sacramento by Storm

 What started out as an item on O'Connell's bucket list is now an almost nightly occurance: performing comedy on stage.

“So this woman comes up and tries to give me a dollar. I wanted to say, ‘Hey! Just because I’m in a wheelchair doesn’t mean I’m homeless!’”

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