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

Could aggressive blood pressure treatments lead to kidney damage?

July 18, 2017
Aggressive combination treatments for high blood pressure that are intended to protect the kidneys may actually be damaging the organs, new research from the University of Virginia School of Medicine suggests.

Quantifying effectiveness of treatment for irregular heartbeat

July 17, 2017
In a small proof-of-concept study, researchers at Johns Hopkins report a complex mathematical method to measure electrical communications within the heart can successfully predict the effectiveness of catheter ablation, the ...

Concerns over side effects of statins stopping stroke survivors taking medication

July 17, 2017
Negative media coverage of the side effects associated with taking statins, and patients' own experiences of taking the drugs, are among the reasons cited by stroke survivors and their carers for stopping taking potentially ...

Study discovers anticoagulant drugs are being prescribed against safety advice

July 17, 2017
A study by researchers at the University of Birmingham has shown that GPs are prescribing anticoagulants to patients with an irregular heartbeat against official safety advice.

Protein may protect against heart attack

July 14, 2017
DDK3 could be used as a new therapy to stop the build-up of fatty material inside the arteries

Heart study finds faulty link between biomarkers and clinical outcomes

July 14, 2017
Surrogate endpoints (biomarkers), which are routinely used in clinical research to test new drugs, should not be trusted as the ultimate measure to approve new health interventions in cardiovascular medicine, according to ...

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.