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Understanding DMD

In Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), the fibres that make up the muscles gradually waste away. In 1986, scientists found that the muscle cells of boys with DMD are missing a vital protein, called dystrophin. Scientists think that dystrophin may help to hold the cells together in healthy muscles. In boys with DMD the gene that makes dystrophin is either altered or partly missing.

Dystrophin is stained brown in normal muscle (left), but is absent in muscle from a boy with DMD (right).
Dystrophin is stained brown in normal muscle (left), but is absent in muscle from a boy with DMD (right).
Louise Anderson, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne

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