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Digitalis, Steroid and Exercise May Retard Muscular Dystrophy

JAMA. 1962;182(9):23-24. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050480087032.
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Prospects of a longer and more active life span for muscular dystrophy patients were described at the AMA Clinical Meeting in Los Angeles.

Experiments at Northwestern Universify in Chicago suggest the possibility tlittt muscular dystrophy may be a disorder of the metabolism, according to Dr. Robert M. Dowben, assistant professor of medicine.

Its progress may be delayed with drugs and in some cases, there may be improvement, he stated. Dowben said that one such regimen of drug therapy has prolonged life in a colony of experimentally dystrophic mice. It is now being tested on a small group of human subjects.

A digitalis preparation is given, together with a synthetic steroid compound that is not available for general use, according to Dowben. In addition, a vigorous exercise program is imposed. In a limited number of dystrophic patients, some signs of retarding the progress of muscular dystroph have been seen, he said. The researcher emphasizes that the treatment is not a cure and that much more time and experience will be required before


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