An important part of NICHD’s mission is ensuring that people with muscular dystrophy (MD) have the opportunity to fulfill their potential for a healthy and productive life. NICHD-funded research on MD focuses on the institute’s goal of improving our understanding of MD and investigating treatments and therapies to stop muscle degeneration or to slow this process.
For example, research aims to identify the genetic and cellular factors that contribute to the progression of Duchenne MD and to study gene therapies and immune responses to those therapies for this most severe form of MD.
Research supported by the institute also seeks to understand the underlying molecular and cellular pathology of facioscapulohumeral (pronounced fas-see-oh-skap-you-low-HEW-mur-l) muscular dystrophy, the most prevalent form of MD affecting both children and adults.
Additional research supports the development of assistive devices for rehabilitation and seeks to improve quality of life for people living with MD and their families.
The NICHD is a member of the NIH Muscular Dystrophy Research Coordinating Committee. This group coordinates activities across NIH and with other federal health programs and activities relevant to the various forms of MD, and it has developed an action plan for MD research. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/find_people/groups/mdcc/