Experts Gather to Focus on Heart in DMD

Experts from around the world will gather Jan. 21-22, 2011, at an MDA-sponsored conference about the heart in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).

With improvements in the care of people with DMD, life expectancy is increasing, and cardiac complications are common. As a result, cardiac care in DMD is more important than ever. The goal of the conference is to identify problems in the diagnosis and management of cardiomyopathy (cardiac muscle disease) in DMD, as well as in the related disease, Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD), and to improve the conduct of clinical trials.

The two-day meeting, to be held at the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, is expected to bring together approximately 50 physicians, researchers and others working to address cardiac issues in DMD and BMD.

Among the expected attendees are MDA's Executive Vice President — Research & Medical Director Valerie Cwik; directors and staff from the five centers that make up the MDA/DMD Clinical Research Network; and current and former MDA grantees who study cardiomyopathy in DMD/BMD.

Topics to be discussed are pathophysiology, or what causes heart problems in DMD; imaging, or how heart problems in DMD are diagnosed and analyzed; therapeutics, or how heart problems in DMD are treated; genotypic and phenotypic observations, or correlations between genetic and clinical information; and the conduct of clinical trials related to heart problems in DMD.

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