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The cooperative international neuromuscular research group Duchenne natural history study: glucocorticoid treatment preserves clinically meaningful functional milestones and reduces rate of disease progression as measured by manual muscle testing and other commonly used clinical trial outcome measures

Journal title
Muscle & nerve
Publication year
2013
Author(s)
Henricson, E. K.; Abresch, R. T.; Cnaan, A.; Hu, F.; Duong, T.; Arrieta, A.; Han, J.; Escolar, D. M.; Florence, J. M.; Clemens, P. R.; Hoffman, E. P.; McDonald, C. M.
Pages
55-67
Volume
48
Number
1

introduction: Glucocorticoid (GC) therapy in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) has altered disease progression, necessitating contemporary natural history studies. METHODS: The Cooperative Neuromuscular Research Group (CINRG) DMD Natural History Study (DMD-NHS) enrolled 340 DMD males, ages 2-28 years. A comprehensive battery of measures was obtained. RESULTS: A novel composite functional "milestone" scale scale showed clinically meaningful mobility and upper limb abilities were significantly preserved in GC-treated adolescents/young adults. Manual muscle test (MMT)-based calculations of global strength showed that those patients <10 years of age treated with steroids declined by 0.4 +/- 0.39 MMT unit/year, compared with -0.4 +/- 0.39 MMT unit/year in historical steroid-naive subjects. Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) were relatively preserved in steroid-treated adolescents. The linearity and magnitude of decline in measures were affected by maturational changes and functional status. CONCLUSIONS: In DMD, long-term use of GCs showed reduced strength loss and preserved functional capabilities and PFTs compared with previous natural history studies performed prior to the widespread use of GC therapy.

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