16:02 PM

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Care Considerations

For three years, David Birnkrant, MD, led a national steering committee on behalf of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to update the care considerations for patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Their recommendations were published earlier this year in The Lancet Neurology. 

Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, has just published a special supplement featuring 13 articles highlighting these updated guidelines in depth.

The October 2018 issue of Pediatrics features 13 companion articles covering a wide range of care. Dr. Birnkrant, Director, Division of Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine, led the project along with Leanne M. Ward, MD, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario. Dr. Birnkrant was the co-editor of the supplement and co-author of four of the articles, including the introductory piece and an article on respiratory management.

DMD is a genetic disorder causing progressive muscle degeneration and weakness. The articles in Pediatrics provide updated information on areas such as bone health, rehabilitation, obesity management and more. The original Care Considerations were published in 2010, and according to Pediatrics, "the past decade has seen tremendous advances in the diagnosis and treatment for boys and men with Duchene muscular dystrophy." The supplement aims to raise the standard of care and improve quality of life for those living with the condition.

"New topics including DMD-centered primary care and emergency medical care, and transitions of care across the lifespan, were part of the updated Care Considerations. People with DMD are living a lot longer thanks to advances in care," says Dr. Birnkrant, who helped his colleagues translate recommendations from 11 expert committees into guidelines covering all aspects of DMD care.

The companion articles in the Pediatrics supplement are available here.