Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) may not sound so bad, but it is. What’s so fatal about muscle degeneration? you might ask. Well, the heart is a muscle, so there’s that.
Luckily, people like Dr. Froehner and Dr. Whitehead have dedicated themselves to saving the lives of Duchenne muscular dystrophy patients.
These two researchers have recently discovered that statins, commonly used to treat cardiovascular health and lower cholesterol, could be just as, or even more, effective at treating DMD.
The proof is in the mice.
A particular statin, known as simvastatin, was administered to a group of mice with DMD. It was observed that, in time, the statin helped improve the functionality of their muscles. That’s just putting it simply. You can read in-depth material about the study here and here.
But this might be my favorite part: Both researchers claimed to be surprised at how well the statin worked to improve muscle function in the mice.
Now, I want you to picture a traditional scientist–white lab coat and goggles–standing over a cage full of brown mice, with a look of pure surprise. Looks weird, doesn’t it? I don’t know about you, but I always pictured my scientists to be “strictly science,” having absolutely no time to entertain something as fruitless and mundane as “feeling.”
But I digress.
What matters is… Froehner and Whitehead’s findings could change the name of the game for DMD-based therapy. Next step: CLINICAL TRIALS!