Studying bone health in boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy- extension study

Dr Anne-Marie Childs and Dr Talat Mushtaq will be studying bone health and the risk of fractures in boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy as an extension to the ongoing investigation into bone health led by Dr Joseph and Dr Wong in Glasgow.

What are the aims of the project?

Boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy often have poor bone health and a greater risk of fracture, especially compression fractures in the backbone (vertebra), which are a sign of fragile bones (osteoporosis).This can lead to ongoing pain and can affect quality of life. It is currently unclear how often vertebral fractures occur as they can happen without obvious symptoms or pain.

In Glasgow Dr Shuko Joseph and Dr Jarod Wong are investigating bone health in boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy to assess how this changes over time. They are using DXA scans (a type of x-ray to measure bone density) and screening x-rays to determine how often  compression fractures in the back bone occur. Dr Anne-Marie Childs and her colleagues at Leeds General Infirmary will be working with Dr Joseph and Dr Wong to extend recruitment to boys in Yorkshire.

Dr Childs will recruit 30 boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy aged between five and eighteen years in a one year follow-up study (there will be  two study visits that co-incide with routine clinic appointments).  The study will also investigate a range of biomarkers of bone health and growth in Duchenne muscular dystrophy and will determine the ability of such markers to predict fractures in this condition.

Why is this research important?

By extending the study to a larger group of boys the researchers will gain a better understanding of bone health and the occurrence of fractures in boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. A more in depth understanding of fractures and the factors associated with these will help to improve management of the condition and how to better prevent fractures.

Grant information

Project leader: Dr Anne-Marie Childs
Location: Leeds General Infirmary
Conditions: Duchenne muscular dystrophy
Duration: Two years, starting 2017
Total project cost: £7,969
Official title: Secondary Osteoporosis & Its Therapy in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (ScOT-DMD): Extension to Leeds Teaching Hospitals, Yorkshire

Further information

If you would like further details about this research project, please email our Research team at

Read about our other Duchenne muscular dystrophy research projects

Read our research news stories on Duchenne muscular dystrophy

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