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This is a diagram or the major effects of Myotonic Dystrophy on the Human. Click to enlarge

The Blog. You’ve reached this site as you may be the one of nearly one million people affected by Myotonic Dystrophy  Worldwide. This site aggregates and publishes all information on Myotonic Dystrophy Myotonic Dystrophy is a disease that is genetically based and inherited from one generation to the next. One out of two children of a person  with myotonic dystrophy will most likely have  the disease. Unlike most diseases, the symptoms that a person with this disease varies from person to person. Some people are just mildly affected others are severely affected. This makes it hard to tell you exactly how the disease will affect a particular person.

Myotonic dystrophy is a rare disease with an incidence of about one in 8000 in European and North American Populations. The incidence in Japan is approximately 1 in 20,000. In Africa and China the incidence is much lower.  The incidence of the congenital form of myotonic dystrophy  is much lower with an incidence of 1/100,000. A more recent study by Campbell in Canada put the incidence of the congenital form at 1/47,000 That means that most doctors will not have a patient with the disease in their practice. Thus, many people are turning to organizations like the Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation for help and assistance.

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ISIS Announces Phase I trials For Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1 Drug

Happy Days! A clinical Trial is going to start on Phase one of Myotonic Dystrophy Drug. That means that a small number of patients in the US usually under 50 will get a chance to try the drug. The purpose of the Phase I trial is to

Try out the drug
Find an optimum dose
Assess Safety of Drug

More on what a phases of clinical testing mean  (From MD Anderson site)

What are Phase 1 Clinical Trials?

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Picture of DM2 Defect Leads to potential drug candidates

Scientists uncover most detailed picture yet of muscular dystrophy defect then design targeted new drug candidates

Date:
January 2, 2014
Source:
Scripps Research Institute
Summary:
Scientists have revealed an atomic-level view of a genetic defect that causes a form of muscular dystrophy, myotonic dystrophy type 2, and have used this information to design drug candidates with potential to counter those defects—and reverse the disease.

Scripps Florida scientists revealed a detailed image of the genetic defect that causes myotonic dystrophy type 2, then used that information to design a drug candidate to counteract the disease.
Credit: Image courtesy of Scripps Research Institute

Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute have revealed an atomic-level view of a genetic defect that causes a form of muscular dystrophy, myotonic dystrophy type 2, and have used this information to design drug candidates with potential to counter those defects — and reverse the disease.

“This the first time the structure of the RNA defect that causes this disease has been determined,” said TSRI Associate Professor Matthew Disney, who led the study. “Based on these results, we designed compounds that, even in small amounts, significantly improve disease-associated defects in treated cells.”

Myotonic dystrophy type 2 is a relatively rare form of muscular dystrophy that is somewhat milder than myotonic dystrophy type 1, the most common adult-onset form of the disease.

Both types of myotonic dystrophy are inherited disorders that involve progressive muscle wasting and weakness, and both are caused by a type of genetic defect known as a “RNA repeat expansion,” a series of nucleotides repeated more times than normal in an individual’s genetic code. The repeat binds to the protein MBNL1, rendering it inactive and resulting in RNA splicing abnormalities — which lead to the disease.

Many other researchers had tried to find the atomic-level structure of the myotonic dystrophy 2 repeat, but had run into technical difficulties. In a technique called X-ray crystallography, which is used to find detailed structural information, scientists manipulate a molecule so that a crystal forms. This crystal is then placed in a beam of X-rays, which diffract when they strike the atoms in the crystal. Based on the pattern of diffraction, scientists can then reconstruct the shape of the original molecule.

Prior to the new research, which was published in an advance, online issue of the journal ACS Chemical Biology, scientists had not been able to crystallize the problematic RNA. The Scripps Florida team spent several years on the problem and succeeded in engineering the RNA to have crystal contacts in different positions. This allowed the RNA to be crystallized — and its structure to be revealed.

Using information about the RNA’s structure and movement, the scientists were able to design molecules to improve RNA function.

The new findings were confirmed using sophisticated computational models that show precisely how the small molecules interact with and alter the RNA structure over time. Those predictive models matched what the scientists found in the study — that these new compounds bind to the repeat structure in a predictable and easily reproducible way, attacking the cause of the disease.

“We used a bottom-up approach, by first understanding how the small components of the RNA structure interact with small molecules,” said Jessica Childs-Disney of TSRI, who was first author of the paper with Ilyas Yildirim of Northwestern University. “The fact that our compounds improve the defects shows that our unconventional approach works.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Scripps Research Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jessica L. Childs-Disney, Ilyas Yildirim, HaJeung Park, Jeremy R. Lohman, Lirui Guan, Tuan Tran, Partha Sarkar, George C. Schatz, Matthew D. Disney. Structure of the Myotonic Dystrophy Type 2 RNA and Designed Small Molecules That Reduce Toxicity. ACS Chemical Biology, 2013; 131216144058009 DOI: 10.1021/cb4007387

 

Scripps Research Institute. “Scientists uncover most detailed picture yet of muscular dystrophy defect then design targeted new drug candidates.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 January 2014..
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Review Article by Giovanni Meola Italy on Myotonic Dsytrophy Dec 2013

This is a review article by Giovanni Meola from Italy published in 2013. Click for link ==>Review Article Meola Dec 2013

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Where’s the Beef? Good News Bomb coming?

Okay lots of hype on the Isis Drug that was supposed to be in early stage trials this year in actual human beings. To us waiting January 1st is a good day to start. Now we are in JUNE! Yo Isis! We are waiting patiently.

I would imagine (hopefully) the results of the lab test have been so incredibly positive that they had to delay a few months to contain their joy at what a great drug they developed………. Hopefully not the converse.

We are waiting Isis for the good news. Drop us a good news bomb!

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Study Confirms Enhanced Risk of Cancer caused by DM gene

A recent study has shown that relatives of DM patients do not have an enhanced cancer risk. Itappears that the genes themselves that cause DM cause this heightened cancer risk.

Eur J Neurol. 2014 May 17. doi: 10.1111/ene.12466. [Epub ahead of print]

Risk of cancer in relatives of patients with myotonic dystrophy: a population-based cohort study.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

Myotonic dystrophies (DM) are autosomal dominantly inherited neuromuscular disorders caused by unstable nucleotide repeat expansions. DM and cancer have been associated, but the pathogenesis behind the association remains unclear. It could relate to derived effects of the DM genotype in which case non-DM relatives of DM patients would not be expected to be at increased risk of cancer. To elucidate this, a population-based cohort study investigating risk of cancer in relatives of DM patients was conducted.

METHODS:

DM was identified using the National Danish Patient Registry and results of genetic testing. Information on cancer was obtained from the Danish Cancer Registry. A population-based cohort of 5 757 565 individuals with at least one relative was established using the Danish Family Relations Database based on kinship links in the Danish Civil Registration System. Familial aggregation of cancer was evaluated by (incidence) rate ratios (RRs) comparing the rate of cancer amongst relatives of patients with DM from 1977 to 2010 (exposed) with the rate of cancer amongst persons with a relative of the same type but without DM (non-exposed).

RESULTS:

In first-degree relatives of individuals with DM the adjusted RR of cancer was 0.89 (95% confidence interval 0.71-1.12) overall, and in stratified analyses 0.68 (0.37-1.12) before age 50 and 0.96 (0.74-1.23) at age 50 or older.

CONCLUSIONS:

The present study does not support an increased risk of cancer in non-DM relatives of DM patients suggesting that cancer and DM are associated through derived effects of the DM genotype.

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