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Published on 13 May 2008

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Viagra offers hope to DMD patients

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A new study has suggested that the anti-impotence drug Viagra may protect the hearts of muscular dystrophy patients.

Viagra was shown to reduce damage to the hearts of mice which have a version of the human disease, and experts therefore believe it could do the same for people afflicted with muscular dystrophy.

Muscular dystrophy is a genetic muscle wasting condition caused by abnormal levels of dystrophin protein, and the research findings open up the possibility of Viagra being used to prevent or delay heart failure in these patients.

One effect of muscular dystrophy is a weakening of the heart’s contracting muscle, leading to heart failure, and for this reason many patients with the most common and severe form of the disease – Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) –  die young, often in their 20s.

The study, which was conducted by Canadian and US scientists, found the way Viagra works to combat impotence by working to keep blood vessels open also protects the heart against muscular dystrophy damage.

Copyright © PA Business 2008

Muscular Dystrophy Campaign



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