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Study Delves into the Severity of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Study Delves into the Severity of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Of the wide variety of studies and research efforts today, none provide better possibilities for the overall health of mankind like the research conducted in the healthcare field.  As time progresses, specialists have learned of the most efficient techniques when caring for patients.  In conducting this research, these professionals have enabled a better quality of life for patients struggling from various diseases and conditions.  With these research opportunities has come a massive amount of insights gained by the respective researchers in the field, due to key connections made between certain symptoms experienced by patients. 

One research effort that has followed this very path has included a finding that further unravels the intricacies that come with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, the most common form of muscular that mostly seen in young boys. The finding looked at why different patients diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy had a different response to the same amount of dystrophin protein loss in their muscles, a key characteristic in all patients with the disorder.

The phenomenon mentioned above was a study led by Eric Hoffman, a professor of pharmaceutical sciences and associate dean for research at Binghamton University's School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and his colleagues.  All patients diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy share the same abnormalities of certain genes and proteins within the body, however distinct differences in the severity of the disorder has been found between different patients.  This can be seen by the fact that patients may be disabled due to Duchenne muscular dystrophy at very young ages (such as 8 to 10 years old), ultimately inhibiting their ability to walk, whereas there are other cases where patients are able to walk until they reach their twenties.

As suggested by the study mentioned above, the specific indicator in terms of the differing severities of Duchenne muscular dystrophy was the primary focus of the research efforts. The exact reason may not be clear, however, these efforts may have shown promising evidence that has the potential for a conclusion.  Following the study, it had been suggested that a specific region within the immune system was responsible for the severity of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

This region includes a gene known as CD40, which is a modulator within the immune system. The gene was found to hold what is know as a polymorphism that can ultimately dictate the severity of Duchenne muscular dystrophy within patients.  Polymorphisms consists of small alterations among the genes that control the variety of physical characteristics in patients, such as the color of their hair, height, skin pigment, as well as other factors contributing to the uniqueness of an individual.

Read on to learn more about what this study has learned about Duchenne muscular dystrophy's varying severity.