Studying bone health in boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Dr Shuko Joseph at the University of Glasgow has been awarded a clinical academic training fellowship to study bone health and how it changes in boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. This fellowship will help to increase research and clinical care capacity for Duchenne muscular dystrophy in Scotland.

This three-year fellowship is being jointly funded by the Chief Scientist Office in Scotland, Action Duchenne and Muscular Dystrophy UK.

Dr Joseph will investigate bone health in boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The need for such a study is based on increasing evidence that there is a greater bone fracture risk influenced by a number of factors. However, until now, the reasons of this increased risk have not been thoroughly studied.

Boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy between the age of five and 16 years will participate into a two-year comprehensive study to investigate bone health. During the study, Dr Joseph will use a range of innovative imaging techniques and biochemical markers to measure any occurring changes. The excellent links of her Department to the Scottish Muscle Network will represent a crucial resource for carrying out such a study.

In addition, Dr Joseph will also evaluate the routine practice of bone health monitoring among health care professionals in Scotland, survey the views and concerns of children who have Duchenne muscular dystrophy as well as their parents and carers and explore the extent of bone morbidity in the North Star Database. This will enable her to develop a more informed approach to a future study that is aimed at improving bone health and reducing fractures in Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

About Clinical Research Fellowships

Clinical Research Fellowships can encourage clinicians to pursue an academic research career. The fellowships are open to medical graduates, usually during speciality training. In this case, the fellowship aims to provide an opportunity for further training in specialist laboratory techniques related to Duchenne research.

The Fellowships are ideally placed to promote translational research. This is the “bench-to-bedside” transfer of promising technologies from the laboratory into the clinic. Clinical fellows, with one foot in the laboratory and one foot in the clinic, have a unique opportunity to aid this process; helping the development of potential treatments for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Grant information

Project leader: Dr Shuko Joseph
Location: University of Glasgow
Conditions: Duchenne muscular dystrophy
Duration: three years, starting 2015
Total project cost: £239,283 (£75,000 contribution from Muscular Dystrophy UK)
Official title: Secondary Osteoporosis & Its Therapy in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy – ScOT-DMD

Further information

For more information on how to be involved with the study, read our latest news story

Hear Dr Shuko Joseph speak about her work in this video

Find out more about other Duchenne muscular dystrophy research we are funding

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