The drug tadalafil (Cialis, Adcirca), which dilates blood vessels and is approved to treat erectile dysfunction and pulmonary hypertension, has been found to improve blood flow to exercising forearm muscles in people with Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD). Enhancing blood flow may reduce damage related to muscle contraction, although this has not yet been established.
Update (Dec. 20, 2012):This story has been updated to reflect the availability of a 12-minute podcast with researcher Michael Rudnicki, in which Rudnicki discusses the advantages and disadvantages of developing protein-based therapies (such as WNT7a) versus cell-based therapies to treat muscle disease.
Experimental anti-cancer drugs that block IAP (inhibitor of apoptosis) genes and kill cancer cells have unexpectedly been found to induce the growth and repair of muscle tissue, say scientists supported in part by MDA.
A left ventricular assist device (LVAD), which helps the heart pump blood throughout the body, was implanted in the chest of a young man with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in September. The patient is 29-year-old Jason Williams, of Peebles, Ohio.
Update (Nov. 7, 2012): In a Nov. 7, 2012, press release, Summit PLC announced that twice-daily oral dosing of SMT C1100 in healthy volunteers appears safe and well-tolerated, and results in blood levels of the drug that would be expected to increase utrophin production.
A multicenter study of the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to measure the progression of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is open at sites in Florida, Oregon and Pennsylvania for boys with DMD who meet study criteria.