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Muscular Dystrophy

Treatment Of The Muscular Dystrophies

As of mid-2002, gene therapy treatment of LGMD was tried in a very small number of patients. These early experiments delivered a functional gene to a very small muscle in the foot and were designed to test the long-term safety and effectiveness of the treatment. Gene therapy for DMD is much more problematic, because of the immense size of the gene and the distribution throughout the body that would be required for effective treatment. Drug treatment with prednisone or other corticosteroids is being used, although at best this provides another six to twelve months of mobility before a wheelchair becomes necessary. There are no effective treatments for myotonic dystrophy as of 2002, although research continues in many laboratories worldwide.

Jeffrey M. Stajich


Emery, Alan E. H., ed. Neuromuscular Disorders: Clinical and Molecular Genetics. Chichester, U.K.: John Wiley & Sons, 1998.

———. Muscular Dystrophy, The Facts. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Hoffman, Eric P. "Muscular Dystrophy: Identification and Use of Genes for Diagnostics and Therapeutics." Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine 123 (1999): 1050-1052.

Internet Resource

Muscular Dystrophy Association. <http://www.mdausa.org>.

Additional topics

Medicine EncyclopediaGenetics in Medicine - Part 3Muscular Dystrophy - Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy, Limb-girdle Muscular Dystrophy, Treatment Of The Muscular Dystrophies