Docs: Heart device might be breakthrough for muscular dystrophy

October 17, 2012
Docs: heart device might be breakthrough for muscular dystrophy
Ohio man among the first to receive the technology, aimed at preventing fatal heart failure.

(HealthDay)—A man with Duchenne muscular dystrophy who received a device to help his heart's left ventricle pump blood throughout his body could represent a breakthrough in the treatment of the disease, according to his doctors.

Jason Williams, 29, of Peebles, Ohio, is believed to be one of the first U.S. patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy to receive an implanted ventricular assist device, the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center team said.

are mechanical pumps implanted in the chest to help a weakened blood to the rest of the body.

Eighty percent of boys and men with Duchenne muscular dystrophy die of , according to a medical center news release. Due to the severity of their , they are not typically candidates for or some other treatment options available to patients with other types of muscular dystrophy.

"This is a major milestone in the care of Duchenne muscular dystrophy," Dr. John Lynn Jefferies, director of the heart failure and ventricular assist device programs at the Cincinnati Children's Heart Institute, said in the news release. "This treatment offers the possibility to change the outcome and the lives of these young men in a significant way that has never been realized up until now."

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is an inherited disorder. It affects mostly males and many patients need a wheelchair before the age of 12. Patients with later stages of the disease experience severe difficulty breathing and , and many patients die in their late teens or early 20s.

Williams explained his decision to receive the ventricular assist device.

"I wanted to live longer with a better quality of life, and help other people—those with Duchenne facing heart failure and death," Williams said in the news release. "I hope that doctors and surgeons can learn from my surgery and my recovery and be able to offer this treatment to other men and boys with Duchenne."

Each year, about 2,500 people worldwide are born with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. By age 21, every Duchenne patient has a heart muscle disease called dilated cardiomyopathy.

Explore further: New breakthrough could help treat muscular dystrophy

More information: The U.S. National Human Genome Research Institute has more about Duchenne muscular dystrophy.


Related Stories

New breakthrough could help treat muscular dystrophy

August 13, 2012
A researcher in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta improved Duchenne muscular dystrophy symptoms in non-human lab models, using a new drug cocktail. The drug combination targets the “hot ...

Researchers review muscular dystrophy therapies

June 22, 2012
Leading muscular dystrophy researcher Dean Burkin, of the University of Nevada School of Medicine summarizes the impact of a new protein therapeutic, MG53, for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy in an article published ...

Recommended for you

Hospital mortality rates after heart attack differ by age

September 25, 2017
Outcomes for older patients hospitalized for a heart attack are often used as a measure of hospital quality for all patients. But a study led by Yale researchers shows that hospital mortality rates for older patients with ...

Gene therapy improved left ventricular and atrial function in heart failure by up to 25 percent

September 25, 2017
Heart function improved by up to 25 percent in a trial using gene therapy to reverse cardiac damage from congestive heart failure in a large animal model, Mount Sinai researchers report. This is the first study using a novel ...

Tension makes the heart grow stronger

September 25, 2017
By taking videos of a tiny beating zebrafish heart as it reconstructs its covering in a petri dish, scientists have captured unexpected dynamics of cells involved in tissue regeneration. They found that the depleted heart ...

Laser device placed on the heart identifies insufficient oxygenation better than other measures

September 20, 2017
A new device can assess in real time whether the body's tissues are receiving enough oxygen and, placed on the heart, can predict cardiac arrest in critically ill heart patients, report researchers at Boston Children's Hospital ...

Metabolism switch signals end for healing hearts

September 19, 2017
Researchers have identified the process that shuts down the human heart's ability to heal itself, and are now searching for a drug to reverse it.

Beta blockers not needed after heart attack if other medications taken

September 18, 2017
A new study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill finds beta blockers are not needed after a heart attack if heart-attack survivors are taking ACE inhibitors and statins. The study is the first to challenge ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.