Quest Magazine

Viagra May be Heart Helper in DMD

Results from a recent study have shown that treatment with the drug sildenafil (brand name Viagra) conferred both long-term protection against cardiac (heart) dysfunction in younger mice, and rapid reversal of heart damage in aged mice with a disease resembling Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).

New Apprenticeship Program for Personal Care Attendants

A new training opportunity, the Direct Support Professional Registered Apprenticeship Program, will assist direct support professionals (such as hired caregivers and aides) in advancing in this essential field, say the program’s creators, the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) and the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR).

ALS Stem Cell Trial is Moving Forward

The Maryland biotherapeutics company Neuralstem will move its clinical trial of neural stem cells in people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) into its next stage, following a thumbs-up from the trial's safety monitoring board, the company announced Oct. 18, 2010. (See Neuralstem Updates ALS Clinial Trial Progress.)

Two-Drug Combo Makes a Difference in FA

Results from a clinical trial conducted in Spain involving 20 individuals with Friedreich's ataxia (FA) show that a combination therapy using two drugs, idebenone and deferiprone (DFP), demonstrated a "stabilizing effect" in neurological function and reduced abnormal heart-muscle enlargement in participants who received the two-drug combo for a period of 11 months.

Research Briefs: DMD

Anti-myostatin drug trial shows good preliminary results

National ALS Registry Now Open

After two years of laying the groundwork, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has opened its National ALS Registry to collect information from people living with ALS.

Scientists at the ATSDR, which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, hope registry data will provide insight into the causes of, and potential treatments for, ALS.

Misfolded SOD1 Found in Sporadic ALS Samples

A new study suggests misfolding of the SOD1 protein may be a common contributor not only to familial (inherited) amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) caused by mutations in the SOD1 gene but to the more common sporadic (noninherited) form of the disease as well.

Intravenous AVI4658 Shows Safety, Benefit in DMD

The experimental drug AVI4658, in development by AVI BioPharma to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) caused by specific genetic mutations, was well tolerated and resulted in increased production of the needed dystrophin protein. Measured aspects of cardiac, pulmonary and skeletal muscle function remained stable.

Low-Dose Ataluren Shows Some Benefit in DMD/BMD

A low-dose regimen of ataluren (formerly called PTC124), an experimental drug developed by PTC Therapeutics to treat  Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) or Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD) caused by a certain type of genetic mutation, is superior to a high-dose regimen or a placebo.

ALS TDI Conference Summarizes ALS Research Progress

Themes discussed throughout the research symposium included ALS genetics, clinical trials, the role of the immune system in disease onset and progression, biomarkers, and the use of stem cells in ALS therapeutics.

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