Identifying factors that improve gastrointestinal function in Duchenne's muscular dystrophy
Professor Gordon Lynch
+61 3 8344 0065
Gastrointestinal (GI) issues such as constipation, bloating, and feelings of fullness are common among patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and are associated with significant discomfort, pain and reduced quality of life. Until recently, these complaints were thought to result from patient immobility and nutritional issues associated with skeletal and cardiac muscle atrophy, but our understanding needs to take into account the fact that dystrophin is expressed in both the neural and smooth muscle tissue of the gut.
Our preliminary studies, in conjunction with previously published studies demonstrate that the mdx mouse, the most commonly studied mouse model of DMD, displays significant gastrointestinal dysfunction demonstrated by altered motor patterns in the small intestine and colon. Together these data reveal that GI dysfunction in DMD is likely due to the underlying loss of dystrophin and not simply to patient immobility and poor nutrition.
Successfully addressing these significant gastrointestinal issues will dramatically improve quality of life for patients.
Dr Kristy Swiderski, Senior Research Fellow
Professor Gordon Lynch, Head of Department
2018-2021 Duchenne Parent Project. Evaluating a sulforaphane-based nutraceutical to alleviate gastrointestinal dysfunction in DMD
This research project is available to PhD students, Masters by Research, Honours students, Master of Biomedical Science, Post Doctor Researchers to join as part of their thesis.
Please contact the Research Group Leader to discuss your options.
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