Treatment of DMD
Despite the description of the disease as early as 1868, there is no reliable treatment for the muscle disease.
It is however possible to slow down the disease progress and preserve the muscle strength and joint function, enabling the patient to walk and sit.
As DMD affects nearly all the muscles of the body, a number of challenges have to be faced by those involved in the treatment process. A multi-disciplinary approach is needed for effective management of the disabling disease.
Various forms of treatment involving light weight braces and splints, physiotherapy, pulmonary therapy (breathing support) and surgery can be instituted.
The choice of a particular treatment largely depends on the clinical condition of the patient and the doctor's discretion.
Following identification of the DMD gene, researchers have developed animal models that mimic the disease. Such clinical experiments have now enhanced our pre-existing knowledge regarding the disease.
Active research is also being conducted to examine if injection of normal muscle cells (from healthy patients) or introduction of corrected form of the dystrophin gene into muscle cells (gene therapy) would reverse the disease process.
With such hope-giving treatment modalities on the horizon, a treatment for DMD is not so far.