Current treatment of adult Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2007 Feb;1772(2):229-37. doi: 10.1016/j.bbadis.2006.06.009. Epub 2006 Jul 8.


Patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) are living longer into adulthood due to a variety of improvements in health care practices. This growing patient population presents new therapeutic challenges. In this article, we review the literature on current treatment of adult DMD as well as our own experience as a multidisciplinary team actively caring for 23 men ages 19-38 years of age. Approximately one quarter of our adult DMD patients have remained on moderate dose corticosteroids. Daily stretching exercises are recommended, particularly of the distal upper extremities. Cardiomyopathy is anticipated, detected, and treated early with afterload reduction. Oxygen saturation monitoring, noninvasive positive pressure ventilation and cough assist devices are routinely used. Other medical issues such as osteoporosis, gastrointestinal and urinary symptoms are addressed. Current and future therapies directed at prolonging the lifespan of those with DMD will result in further increases in this adult population with special needs and concerns. These needs are best addressed in a multidisciplinary clinic.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne / diagnosis
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne / drug therapy
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne / physiopathology
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne / therapy*