Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a fatal X-linked disorder, characterized by progressive skeletal muscle wasting. The disease is caused by various types of mutations in the dystrophin gene (DMD). The disease occurs at a frequency of about 1 in 5000 male births, making it the most common severe neuro-muscular disease. In addition to clinical examinations of muscle strength and function, diagnosis of DMD usually involves a combination of immunological assays using muscle biopsies, typically immunohistochemistry and western blotting, and molecular techniques such as DMD gene sequencing or Multiplex Ligation Dependent Probe Amplification (MLPA) using blood samples. In fact, precise molecular diagnosis is a prerequisite for determining the appropriate personalized therapeutic approach such as exon-skipping, gene therapy or stem cell-based therapies in conjunction with gene editing techniques like CRISPR-Cas9. However, the quest for reliable biomarkers with high sensitivity and specificity for DMD from liquid biopsy is still a hotspot of research, as such non-invasive biomarker(s) would not only facilitate disease diagnosis but would also help in carrier detection, which will eventually result in better disease management. In this chapter, we will illustrate the detailed current and prospect strategies for disease.
Part of the book: Rare Diseases
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is one of the fatal X-linked disorders that are characterized by progressive muscle weakness and occur due to mutation in the largest human gene known as the DMD gene which encodes dystrophin protein that is mandatory for keeping the muscles structurally and functionally intact. The disease always affects boys (1 from every ~5000), and in some cases the female carriers are symptomatic. The disease usually leads to impairment in cardiac and pulmonary functions leading to the death of the patients in very young ages. Understanding DMD through precise molecular diagnosis will aid in determining the suitable therapeutic approach for the cases like designing exon-skipping antisense oligonucleotides (AOs) or stem cell-based therapies in conjunction with gene editing techniques (CRISPR/Cas9). Such therapies can correct the genetic defect in the DMD gene and ameliorate the symptoms. In this chapter, we will illustrate the past and current strategies for DMD disease treatment.
Part of the book: Muscular Dystrophy