Care Tools Research

Defective insulin signaling activation may underlie skeletal muscle wasting in DM1 and DM2.

Investigators at the University of California San Diego, the University of Florida, and the National University of Singapore have recently reported early research that potentially ‘repurposes’ gene editing technology for a set of RNA disorders—myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1), myotonic dystrophy type 2 (DM2), a subset of Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) patients and Huntington’s disease.

Although fatigue represents a substantial burden in DM1, tools must be validated to assess its diverse contributing factors in order to develop clinical trial endpoints and effective therapies.

The UK DM Patient Registry reports on disease burden for 556 patients with a confirmed diagnosis of DM1.

A multi-center study suggests serum cardiac troponin-1 levels predict risks of left ventricular dysfunction in DM1 patients.

When Dr. Thurman Wheeler was a resident in neurology, he remembers a senior physician telling him that myotonic dystrophy would probably be one of the most difficult diseases to treat because it involves so many body systems.

Studies of AMPK/mTORC1 signaling in DM1 identify novel therapeutic targets for DM, and may offer an opportunity to repurpose approved drugs for both muscle and cognitive symptoms.

In November, Myotonic staff met with the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) senior leadership and program/policy staff to discuss research opportunities and federal support for myotonic dystrophy (DM). Discussions focused on two areas: the scientific workforce and biomarker and registration endpoint development.

A new quality of life study found that some DM2 patients are impacted as severely as those with DM1. Read more on the findings here.

A panel of physical therapy professionals and people living with DM discuss ways to stay physically fit.

Researchers at the University of Virginia recently published a paper describing a biological pathway they believe may be responsible for muscle degeneration in DM1.

Cynthia Gagnon, PhD, OT, of the Université de Sherbrooke, discusses ways to modify daily living activities to best benefit those living with DM.

Weakness

There are currently no medications available that address myotonic dystrophy weakness. Symptomatic treatments include:

Neuromuscular assessment

Childhood/Adolescence

  • Normal or slightly delayed early motor development
  • Facial and neck muscle problems, typically without the facial appearance that is associated with the congenital form

Prenatal

  • Lower than normal fetal movement
  • Buildup of fluid (edema) in fetus organs and tissues (hydrops fetalis)
  • Increased amniotic fluid in mother (polyhydramnios). Breech position, placental abruption, and umbilical cord prolapse may result.

Classic Form

  • Commonly starts in the teens, twenties, or thirties with myotonia of the hand grip
  • Symptoms progress to weakness of gripping or pinching with the fingers, or moving the ankles

...Recognizing that exercise does not prevent the progression of muscle weakness in DM, are there exercise regimens that are recommended to try and maintain what muscle strength is present?

Researchers identify the gene believed to be responsible for adverse statin drug side effects in DM2 patients.  

A recently published study from Sweden reported impaired facial recognition in people with DM1 and indicated that there are brain differences that affect how faces are perceived and stored by people with DM1.

Interesting Findings Reported in Recent DM Research Studies on Sleep Disturbances

This webinar discusses various pharmocological and non-pharmacological treatments for muscle, chest, and abdominal pain often experienced by persons with DM1 or DM2.

Expand the dropdowns below for focused information on skeletal muscle weakness.

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