We are coming off an amazing week for ALS research, where it was shown that funding from the Ice Bucket Challenge led to a breakthrough in genetic research. This week, there have been a lot of stories making headlines about new and upcoming treatments for muscular dystrophy.
Here are three new treatments that have made headlines over the past week.
Robotic Gait Training
Research for robotic gait training is limited, but researchers in Toronto and Chicago have been working with children who have MD to learn what can help them walk better over the years.
Using a robotic machine that the children strap into, allowing them to walk, researchers hope that facilitating a child’s gait can reduce the effects of MD and help them move better over time.
When you think of therapy, things like the robotic gait training may come to mind, but researchers have been working on gene therapies for patients with MD for years. Recently, they have formulated a new gene therapy that is designed to limit muscle wasting conditions that are common in patients with MD.
The study relating to the therapy showed that scientists were able to block the muscle wasting hormone myostatin in the heart and skeletal muscles of mice, preventing muscle loss without the severe side effects that normally come along with this type of procedure.
They hope to continue this research to be able to formulate and implement the new therapy for patients.
FDA Considering a New Drug
The FDA recently agreed to consider approving a new drug that can treat a childhood-onset form of muscular dystrophy.
The drug, called deflazacort, is already in use outside of the U.S., but has yet to get approval for use on patients here. The FDA hopes to reach their decision on the drug within six months. The drug would come in both tablet and liquid forms.
Muscular dystrophy affects approximately 1 in every 3,500 to 6,000 male births each year in the United States. At Rollx Vans, we work with and provide our wheelchair accessible vehicles to many people who suffer from MD, and we hope that these treatments become a game changer in the healthcare industry.