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Lurio J.G.,Yeshiva University | Peay H.L.,Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy | Mathews K.D.,University of Iowa
American Family Physician | Year: 2015

Diagnosis of neuromuscular disorders in young children is often delayed for years after symptoms emerge, resulting in missed opportunities for therapy and genetic counseling. Identification of the weak child begins with careful attention to caregiver concerns and developmental surveillance at well-child visits. Family and medical histories can differentiate inherited from acquired causes of weakness. Physical examination should include observation of ageappropriate motor skills such as pull-to-sit, sitting, rising to stand, and walking/running. Serum creatine kinase levels should always be measured in children exhibiting neuromuscular weakness. Referrals to early intervention programs should not be postponed pending definitive diagnosis. If motor delay does not improve with early intervention, referral to a pediatric neurologist for diagnostic assessment is recommended. Tongue fasciculations, loss of motor milestones, or creatine kinase level greater than three times the normal limit should prompt immediate neurology referral. Once a neuromuscular disorder is diagnosed, the primary care clinician can help the family navigate subspecialty visits and consultations, advocate for services in the school and home, and help them cope with the emotional stresses of caring for a child with special needs. © 2015 American Academy of Family Physicians.

Kalman L.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Leonard J.,Coriell Institute for Medical Research | Gerry N.,Coriell Institute for Medical Research | Tarleton J.,Fullerton Genetics Center | And 13 more authors.
Journal of Molecular Diagnostics | Year: 2011

Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophies (DMD/BMD) are allelic X-linked recessive disorders that affect approximately 1 in 3500 and 1 in 20,000 male individuals, respectively. Approximately 65% of patients with DMD have deletions, 7% to 10% have duplications, and 25% to 30% have point mutations in one or more of the 79 exons of the dystrophin gene. Most clinical genetics laboratories test for deletions, and some use technologies that can detect smaller mutations and duplications. Reference and quality control materials for DMD/BMD diagnostic and carrier genetic testing are not commercially available. To help address this need, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-based Genetic Testing Reference Material Coordination Program, in collaboration with members of the genetic testing and the DMD/BMD patient communities and the Coriell Cell Repositories, have characterized new and existing cell lines to create a comprehensive DMD/BMD reference material panel. Samples from 31 Coriell DMD cell lines from male probands and female carriers were analyzed using the Affymetrix SNP Array 6.0 and Multiplex Ligation-Dependent Probe Amplification (MRC-Holland BV, Amsterdam, the Netherlands), a multiplex PCR assay, and DNA sequence analysis. Identified were 16 cell lines with deletions, 9 with duplications, and 4 with point mutations distributed throughout the dystrophin gene. There were no discordant results within assay limitations. These samples are publicly available from Coriell Institute for Medical Research (Camden, NJ) and can be used for quality assurance, proficiency testing, test development, and research, and should help improve the accuracy of DMD testing. Copyright © 2011 American Society for Investigative Pathology and the Association for Molecular Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Background: Through Patient-Focused Drug Development, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) documents the perspective of patients and caregivers and are currently conducting 20 public meetings on a limited number of disease areas. Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD), an advocacy organization for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), has demonstrated a community-engaged program of preference research that would complement the FDA’s approach.Objective: Our objective was to compare two stated-preference methods, best-worst scaling (BWS) and conjoint analysis, within a study measuring caregivers’ DMD-treatment preferences.Methods: Within one survey, two preference-elicitation methods were applied to 18 potential treatments incorporating six attributes and three levels. For each treatment profile, caregivers identified the best and worst feature and intention to use the treatment. We conducted three analyses to compare the elicitation methods using parameter estimates, conditional attribute importance and policy simulations focused on the 18 treatment profiles. For each, concordance between the results was compared using Spearman’s rho.Results: BWS and conjoint analysis produced similar parameter estimates (p < 0.01); conditional attribute importance (p < 0.01); and policy simulations (p < 0.01). Greatest concordance was observed for the benefit and risk parameters, with differences observed for nausea and knowledge about the drug—where a lack of monotonicity was observed when using conjoint analysis.Conclusions: The observed concordance between approaches demonstrates the reliability of the stated-preference methods. Given the simplicity of combining BWS and conjoint analysis on single profiles, a combination approach is easily adopted. Minor irregularities for the conjoint-analysis results could not be explained by additional analyses and needs to be the focus of future research. © 2014, Springer International Publishing Switzerland.

Peay H.L.,Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy | Peay H.L.,Leiden University
Journal of Genetic Counseling | Year: 2016

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a progressive, fatal pediatric disorder with significant burden on parents. Assessing disease impact can inform clinical interventions. Best-worst scaling (BWS) was used to elicit parental priorities among 16 short-term, DMD-related worries identified through community engagement. Respondents viewed 16 subsets of worries, identified using a balanced, incomplete block design, and identified the most and least worrying items. Priorities were assessed using best-worst scores (spanning +1 to −1) representing the relative number of times items were endorsed as most and least worrying. Independent-sample t-tests compared prioritization of parents with ambulatory and non-ambulatory children. Participants (n = 119) most prioritized worries about weakness progression (BW score = 0.64) and getting the right care over time (BW = 0.25). Compared to parents of non-ambulatory children, parents of ambulatory children more highly prioritized missing treatments (BW = 0.31 vs. 0.13, p < 0.001) and being a good enough parent (BW = 0.06 vs. −0.08, p = 0.010), and less prioritized child feeling like a burden (BW = −0.24 vs. −0.07, p < 0.001). Regardless of child’s disease stage, caregiver interventions should address the emotional impact of caring for a child with a progressive, fatal disease. We demonstrate an accessible, clinically-relevant approach to prioritize disease impact using BWS, which offers an alternative to the use of traditional rating/ranking scales. © 2015, National Society of Genetic Counselors, Inc.

Straub V.,Northumbria University | Balabanov P.,European Medicines Agency | Bushby K.,Northumbria University | Ensini M.,Northumbria University | And 20 more authors.
The Lancet Neurology | Year: 2016

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a rare, progressive, muscle-wasting disease leading to severe disability and premature death. Treatment is currently symptomatic, but several experimental therapies are in development. Implemented care standards, validated outcome measures correlating with clinical benefit, and comprehensive information about the natural history of the disease are essential for regulatory approval of any treatment. However, for Duchenne muscular dystrophy and other rare diseases, these requirements are not always in place when potential therapies enter the clinical trial phase. A cooperative effort of stakeholders in Duchenne muscular dystrophy-including representatives from patients' groups, academia, industry, and regulatory agencies-is aimed at addressing this shortfall by identifying strategies to overcome challenges, developing the tools needed, and collecting relevant data. An open and constructive dialogue among European stakeholders has positively affected development of treatments for Duchenne muscular dystrophy; this approach could serve as a paradigm for development of treatments for rare diseases in general. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

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