DMD research

Duchenne UK funds research to further understand the benefits of dietary supplements as treatments for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Please note that this project has been terminated as a result of practical and technical issues. For more information, please click here

Duchenne UK are funding £179,520 in to research to understand the benefits of nutraceuticals. Nutraceuticals can be defined as any product derived from food sources with extra health benefits.

Nutraceuticals are commonly used to promote human health and typically have an excellent safety profile. They are also generally inexpensive.

Many people living with DMD use dietary supplements that are available from health food shops or to order online. Duchenne UK would like to help the Duchenne community have a better understanding of the value of these supplements, the suggested dosing and whether certain neutraceuticals work better in conjunctions with others.

Dr Keith Foster will carry out this research at the University of Reading. He will be ‘screening’ for nutraceuticals of interest. Twelve such nutraceutical products, with differing mechanisms of action and which have been referenced in published literature for their potential use for DMD, have been identified for testing.

This research project seeks to establish whether these compounds, in combinations, can positively impact on the pathological drivers within dystrophic tissue such as oxidative stress, metabolic stress, inflammation and muscle turnover.

Dr Keith Foster said: “Many studies have demonstrated the potential positive benefits of nutraceutical for different drivers of pathology in DMD, such as inflammation, fibrosis, oxidative stress and muscle loss. With Duchenne UK, we seek to evaluate if the same nutraceuticals, that are often used by the community, do in fact give additional benefits if used in combination. This innovative program adopts a ‘highly reductive’ comparative study design to hopefully inform on which nutraceuticals and the dosing of nutraceuticals could give benefit. Subsequently, these combinations can then be ‘fast tracked’ for preclinical and hopefully clinical evaluation studies.”

Emily Crossley, Co-founder of Duchenne UK said: “A lot has been published recently about nutraceuticals so we want to commission this piece of research to get some definitive answers and see what merits further investigation.”




What is Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy?


Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is the most common fatal genetic disease diagnosed in childhood. Children born with DMD cannot produce the protein dystrophin which is vital for muscle strength and function. Muscle weakness starts in early childhood. Many use a wheelchair by around the age of 12. As deterioration continues it leads to paralysis and early death, often in their 20s. It almost exclusively affects boys. There is no treatment or cure. In the UK there are around 2,500 boys affected and around 300, 000 worldwide. It is classified as a rare disease.


Who are Duchenne UK?


Duchenne UK is a lean, ambitious and highly focused charity with a clear vision: to fund and accelerate treatments and a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The charity has been formed by the coming together of Joining Jack and Duchenne Children's Trust, the two biggest funders of research in the UK in the last three years. Its president is HRH The Duchess of Cornwall. Its patrons include the broadcasters Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Mary Nightingale, and the sports stars Owen Farrell, Kris Radlinski and Andy Farrell. 


How to donate?


Duchenne UK is entirely reliant on donations to fund research for treatments and a cure to DMD. This can be done via:

  • Direct Debit – Duchenne Direct
  • Individual Donation – Donate
  • If you are a family or friend affected by DMD you can set up your own fund with Duchenne UK – Family and Friend Funds
  • Take part in one of our fundraising events – Events
  • Text DUCH10 £10 to 70070

For more information and interview requests:

Visit www.duchenneuk.org 

Molly Hunt – Communications Manger, Duchenne UK 

E: [email protected]

Published on 18 October 2017

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