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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(5), 1490; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19051490

At the Crossroads of Clinical and Preclinical Research for Muscular Dystrophy—Are We Closer to Effective Treatment for Patients?

Department of Experimental Medical Science, Muscle Biology Unit, Lund University, Lund 221 84, Sweden
Received: 5 April 2018 / Revised: 3 May 2018 / Accepted: 8 May 2018 / Published: 16 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics)
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Abstract

Among diseases affecting skeletal muscle, muscular dystrophy is one of the most devastating and complex disorders. The term ‘muscular dystrophy’ refers to a heterogeneous group of genetic diseases associated with a primary muscle defect that leads to progressive muscle wasting and consequent loss of muscle function. Muscular dystrophies are accompanied by numerous clinical complications and abnormalities in other tissues that cause extreme discomfort in everyday life. The fact that muscular dystrophy often takes its toll on babies and small children, and that many patients die at a young age, adds to the cruel character of the disease. Clinicians all over the world are facing the same problem: they have no therapy to offer except for symptom-relieving interventions. Patients, their families, but also clinicians, are in urgent need of an effective cure. Despite advances in genetics, increased understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying muscle disease, despite a sweeping range of successful preclinical strategies and relative progress of their implementation in the clinic, therapy for patients is currently out of reach. Only a greater comprehension of disease mechanisms, new preclinical studies, development of novel technologies, and tight collaboration between scientists and physicians can help improve clinical treatment. Fortunately, inventiveness in research is rapidly extending the limits and setting new standards for treatment design. This review provides a synopsis of muscular dystrophy and considers the steps of preclinical and clinical research that are taking the muscular dystrophy community towards the fundamental goal of combating the traumatic disease. View Full-Text
Keywords: muscular dystrophy; skeletal muscle; animal models; gene therapy; cell therapy; genome editing; clinical trials; extracellular matrix muscular dystrophy; skeletal muscle; animal models; gene therapy; cell therapy; genome editing; clinical trials; extracellular matrix
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Gawlik, K.I. At the Crossroads of Clinical and Preclinical Research for Muscular Dystrophy—Are We Closer to Effective Treatment for Patients? Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 1490.

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