, Volume 82, Issue 2, pp 102-115
Date: 12 Dec 2003

Therapeutics for Duchenne muscular dystrophy: current approaches and future directions

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Abstract

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is the most common X-linked neuromuscular disorder. The devastating nature of DMD has led to an intense effort toward finding a cure for this disease, dating back to the time when Duchenne first initiated clinical trials using faradic stimulation for DMD patients. Unfortunately despite the passage of some 150 years the disease remains incurable, and its medical management is largely supportive. However, the discovery of the DMD gene about 20 years ago has allowed a change in the focus of therapeutic strategy dramatically toward delivery of the missing gene/protein. Indeed, some degree of success has been achieved in preclinical animal studies using such strategies, and gene therapy trials are currently underway in humans. Pharmacological approaches for DMD are also being developed since they can circumvent some of the technical problems associated with gene and cell based therapy. This review explores developments in therapeutic approaches for DMD.

S. Bogdanovich, K.J. Perkins contributed equally to this work