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