Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Lab-grown muscles reveal mysteries of rare muscle diseases

Biomedical engineers at Duke University have developed a new technique to better understand and test treatments for a group of extremely rare muscle disorders called dysferlinopathy or limb girdle muscular dystrophies 2B ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Experts develop immune-enhancing therapies to target tuberculosis

Experts are working on novel immune-enhancing therapies called host-directed therapies to use the body's own immune system to target tuberculosis, with hopes that they could tackle even the drug-resistant forms of the disease. ...

Genetics

Gene discovered that can protect against severe muscle disease

A specific gene may play a key role in new treatments that prevent muscle in the body from breaking down in serious muscle diseases, or muscular dystrophies. This is shown in a new study carried out at UmeƄ University, Sweden, ...

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Muscular dystrophy

Muscular dystrophy (abbreviated MD) refers to a group of genetic, hereditary muscle diseases that weaken the muscles that move the human body. Muscular dystrophies are characterized by progressive skeletal muscle weakness, defects in muscle proteins, and the death of muscle cells and tissue. Nine diseases including Duchenne, Becker, limb girdle, congenital, facioscapulohumeral, myotonic, oculopharyngeal, distal, and Emery-Dreifuss are always classified as muscular dystrophy but there are more than 100 diseases in total with similarities to muscular dystrophy. Most types of MD are multi-system disorders with manifestations in body systems including the heart, gastrointestinal and nervous systems, endocrine glands, skin, eyes and other organs.

In the 1860s, descriptions of boys who grew progressively weaker, lost the ability to walk, and died at an early age became more prominent in medical journals. In the following decade, French neurologist Guillaume Duchenne gave a comprehensive account of 13 boys with the most common and severe form of the disease (which now carries his name — Duchenne muscular dystrophy). It soon became evident that the disease had more than one form, and that these diseases affected males of all ages.[citation needed]

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