Motor function measure scale, steroid therapy and patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Arq Neuropsiquiatr. 2012 Mar;70(3):191-5. doi: 10.1590/s0004-282x2012000300007.


Objective: To assess the evolution of motor function in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) treated with steroids (prednisolone or deflazacort) through the Motor Function Measure (MFM), which evaluates three dimensions of motor performance (D1, D2, D3).

Methods: Thirty-three patients with DMD (22 ambulant, 6 non-ambulant and 5 who lost the capacity to walk during the period of the study) were assessed using the MFM scale six times over a period of 18 months.

Results: All the motor functions remained stable for 14 months in all patients, except D1 for those who lost their walking ability. In ambulant patients, D2 (axial and proximal motor capacities) motor functions improved during six months; an improvement in D3 (distal motor capacity) was noted during the total follow-up. D1 (standing posture and transfers) and total score were useful to predict the loss of the ability to walk.

Conclusions: The use of the MFM in DMD patients confirms the benefits of the steroid treatment for slowing the progression of the disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Disease Progression
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne / drug therapy*
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne / physiopathology*
  • Prednisolone / therapeutic use*
  • Pregnenediones / therapeutic use*


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Pregnenediones
  • Prednisolone
  • deflazacort