TUCSON, Ariz. — The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) has launched a unique Clinical Research Network to speed and support research into two forms of muscle disease.
The network consists of 10 elite MDA medical clinics that will function as clinical research centers. Five centers will support trials and studies in ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease) and five will focus on Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).
MDA has committed $1 million a year to fund the network, whose goals include:
"Despite the many advances in our understanding of DMD and ALS in recent years, we still have much to learn about optimal medical management for these two diseases," said Valerie Cwik, MDA senior vice president of research and medical director. "The centers will conduct well-controlled clinical studies to support the development of standards of care, ultimately improving care for all patients with these diseases."
Each center in the MDA network will receive $100,000 annually from MDA to cover its infrastructure costs, and each will submit grant applications for added assistance from MDA and entities such as the National Institutes of Health.
The MDA/ALS Centers are located at:
DMD centers are located at:
MDA plans to expand the network to cover research on other diseases in its program, Cwik said.
MDA is the nonprofit health agency dedicated to curing muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases by funding worldwide research. The Association also provides comprehensive health care and support services, advocacy and education.