Muscular Dystrophies

Exon-Skipping Trial Results Are a 'Major Advance' in DMD Treatment

Editor's note (July 24, 2012): For a more in-depth discussion of the exon-skipping trial results, see A Closer Look: Extended Eteplirsen Treatment Benefits Walking in DMD.

Research Briefs: LGMD, Myofibrillar Myopathy

Update (Aug. 8, 2012):This story was updated to reflect the availability of a podcast on the dysferlin gene transfer study.

Zebrafish research models mimic myofibrillar myopathy

MMD Briefs: New Drug Development, Perceptions of Modafinil

Type 1 myotonic dystrophy (MMD1, or DM1) and type 2 myotonic dystrophy (MMD2, or DM2) are complex, multisystem disorders caused by similar genetic flaws on chromosome 19 (MMD1) and chromosome 3 (MMD2). Treatments that target the underlying molecular causes of MMD1 and MMD2 are in development.

MD Briefs: Corrected Stem Cells, Membrane Sealants

LGMD2D mice benefit from corrected human stem cells

A multinational team of scientists successfully transplanted genetically corrected muscle stem cells derived from people with type 2D limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD2D) into LGMD2D research mice and saw better muscle function in these mice than in similar mice that didn't receive the cells.

Heart Drug Being Tested in DMD

Eplerenone, a drug commonly used to prevent scarring after a heart attack, is being tested in a phase 2-3 clinical trial to determine whether it can stop or slow heart damage in people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).  

Eplerenone blocks scarring that over time can turn heart muscle into nonfunctioning fatty tissue.

Muscle Physiology — Samantha Harris, Ph.D.

Samantha Harris, an associate professor in the department of neurobiology, physiology and behavior at the University of California, Davis, has been awarded an MDA grant totaling $244,024 over two years. The funding will help Harris in her quest to determine the properties of a skeletal-muscle protein called myosin binding protein C.

Mutations in the gene for myosin binding protein C affect muscle contraction and could play a role in a number of muscle diseases.

MD — Kathryn Wagner, M.D., Ph.D.

MDA has awarded a research grant totaling $362,760 over three years to Kathryn Wagner, an associate professor of neurology and neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and director of the Center for Genetic Muscle Disorders at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, both in Baltimore.

Research Briefs: BMD, DMD, Pompe disease

PTC begins non-US study of ataluren in DMD/BMD

MDA Hosts National Becker MD Conference in August

Update (Sept. 7, 2012): Videos of all presentations from the BMD Conference have been archived on MDA's BMD Conference video page. For a brief synopsis of each video, see BMD Conference Videos Cover Health Care, Research and Daily Living.

Stop Codon Read-Through Drug Performs Well in DMD Mice

An experimental drug called RTC13, designed to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) by restoring production of the muscle protein dystrophin, has shown promise in experiments in dystrophin-deficient mice that have a DMD-like disease.

RTC13's MDA-supported developers say they're optimistic about the compound but that refinement of its chemistry and further testing will be needed before it can be taken into clinical trials in people with DMD.