Peripheral Neuropathies

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.”

Friedreich's Ataxia Registry Open for Enrollment

The Coordination of Rare Diseases at Sanford (CoRDS) national rare disease registry is now hosting an ataxia patient registry for people with Friedreich's ataxia (FA) or other disorders classified as ataxias (conditions that cause problems with balance or coordination).

CMT1A: High-Dose Ascorbic Acid Not Effective

An MDA-supported trial of high-dose ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in the type 1A form of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) (CMT1A) did not find a benefit for this treatment, although it appeared safe and was generally well-tolerated. There were no serious adverse events judged to be related to the study drug.

Study Suggests Sleep-Disordered Breathing Common in FA

Results from a study conducted in Australia show that a nighttime respiratory problem called obstructive sleep apnea occurs more frequently in people with Friedreich's ataxia (FA) than in the general population.

FA: RG2833 Is Well-Tolerated and Increases Frataxin Gene Activity

Interim results from a phase 1 clinical trial of RG2833 in people with Friedreich’s ataxia (FA) show that the experimental drug is well-tolerated, and that it appears to increase the activity of the gene for the frataxin protein.

‘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.

MDA Scientific Conference To Emphasize Therapy Development

The Muscular Dystrophy Association’s annual conference being held in Washington, D.C., on April 21-24, 2013, is centered on the theme Therapy Development for Neuromuscular Diseases: Translating Hope into Promise.

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.

Catena for FA To Be Discontinued in Canada

Idebenone (under the brand name Catena) in July 2008 received conditional market approval in Canada for the treatment of Friedreich's ataxia (FA). Now, based on additional data that fails to confirm that treatment with Catena is beneficial in FA, Santhera Pharmaceuticals has announced it will discontinue sales of the drug April 30, 2013.

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