New Drug Shows Promise in Treating Muscular Dystrophy
Muscular dystrophy may not be the least of a mother's worries for her child, but a new oral drug VBP15 shows great promise in treating the disease.
What is Muscular Dystrophy?
According to the Mayo Clinic, it is “a group of genetic diseases in which muscle fibres are unusually susceptible to damage.” This pretty much means that the slightest accident, punch or fall could cause immense damage as the muscles get weaker over time due to more than 30 inherited diseases affecting that essential part of the body, especially when it comes to boys. This disease is pretty selective in gender. Eventually, the child born with this dystrophy will need a wheelchair, whether it surfaces during childhood or waits until adulthood to hit properly.
What Causes Muscular Dystrophy?
An early study in 2013 identified a gene which creates dystophin, a protein in charge of cell function and repair, which seems to have mutated. This means that its lack of production causes muscle deterioration, leading to death from respiratory or heart failure before the age of 30.
How can Muscular Dystrophy be treated?
While there is currently no viable cure for the disease, a preclinical study, published at EMBO Molecular Medicine, has discovered that a drug called VBP15, taken orally, could very well treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) through protecting and strengthening the muscles of the 180,000 patients worldwide currently suffering from it, particularly the children.
This new research has observed that VBP15 inhibits a cell-signalling molecule called NF-kB which causes inflammation and tissue damage. It is theorized that this new drug will either prevent or delay the onset of many symptoms which would eventually have led to death at the hands of organs which no longer are able to function properly. If all goes to plan, the results of the study will be known early 2014.
In the meantime, a 2007 study had found that taking creatine for short or medium terms increased muscle strength among patients with muscular dystrophy by 8.5 percent, gaining about 1.4 pounds in lean body mass as well.
Science has proven it will always pull through. The average citizen not working in a laboratory can only bide his or her time until a proper solution is found for every health problem, muscular dystrophy not an exception.