Quest Magazine

Michigan Man with CMD Vies for US Rowing Team Spot

Come the 2012 Olympics in London, Michael Lehmann stands a reasonable chance of representing the United States as a vital member of the U.S. rowing team.

Lehmann got close to making the team this year as a coxswain (“KOK-sun”), taking second place in individual tryouts. His biggest handicaps were his age (23) and level of experience (five years) – not his congenital muscular dystrophy (CMD).

Nationwide Children's Hospital Named MD Research Center

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded $7 million to Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and designated the institution a Paul D. Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Cooperative Research Center (Wellstone MDCRC).

Study Seeks People With Uncertain MD Diagnoses

A study to determine the early features of late-onset Pompe disease (acid maltase deficiency) is seeking 250 adults who have a clinical diagnosis of unclassified limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD), an uncertain diagnosis of other forms of muscular dystrophy (MD),or an unclassified myopathy(muscle disease)who do not carry any biochemical, metabolic, enzymatic, serologic (blood), molecular or pathologic diagnostic marker that confirms their diagnosis.

ALS Research Briefs

Biogen Idec and Knopp Neurosciences announced Aug. 18, 2010, that they have entered into an agreement to continue developing KNS-760704 (dexpramipexole) as an experimental treatment for ALS. The drug helps protect nerve cells under adverse conditions. A phase 2 trial by Knopp showed the drug had favorable effects on motor function and survival in people with ALS.

Research Briefs: ALS, CMD, FA and SMA

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

Card Issued for Air Travelers with Disabilities

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has issued a notification card that should make commercial air travel a little easier for people with disabilities.

The blue, wallet-sized card allows people to discreetly notify airport security personnel of a disability, medical condition or medical device that might affect the screening they’re required to undergo before boarding a plane.

Expanded Ataxin 2 Genes a Major Contributor to ALS Risk

Scientists working in the United States and Germany have uncovered what appears to be the most common genetic contributor to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis so far identified.

The genetic factor is a segment of the ataxin 2 gene that's slightly longer than average, which causes the ataxin 2 protein to contain more molecules of the amino acid glutamine than it normally would.

US Team Wins PowerHockey Cup

It didn’t look good for the Minnesota Saints.

Playing against the tough Michigan Mustangs for the top prize in power wheelchair hockey, the Saints went up 4-2, only to see the score tied 4-4 with just five minutes to go.

That’s when forward Chad Wilson, 21, of Chanhassen, Minn., went into overdrive. Wilson, who has Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD), took less than two minutes to score two more goals for the Saints.

Research Briefs: ALS, BMD, DMD, MMD, SMA, Muscle Regeneration

Amytrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

Not One But Two DNA Changes Are Needed to Cause FSHD

Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) requires the presence of not one but two genetic changes, both on chromosome 4, before it causes its characteristic symptoms — weakness starting in the muscles of the face, shoulder blade area and upper arms, with possible progression to other parts of the body.

The new findings, announced online Aug. 19, 2010, in the journal Science, have immediate implications for diagnosis and prediction of FSHD, and possible long-term implications for its treatment.

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