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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2007 Feb;1772(2):186-94. Epub 2006 Jun 6.

Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy.

Author information

1
Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), Department of Human Genetics, Postal zone S-3-P, PO box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands. maarel@lumc.nl

Abstract

Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is caused by a cascade of epigenetic events following contraction of the polymorphic macrosatellite repeat D4Z4 in the subtelomere of chromosome 4q. Currently, the central issue is whether immediate downstream effects are local (i.e., at chromosome 4q) or global (genome-wide) and there is evidence for both scenarios. Currently, there is no therapy for FSHD, mostly because of our lack of understanding of the primary pathogenic process in FSHD muscle. Clinical trials based on suppression of inflammatory reactions or increasing muscle mass by drugs or training have been disappointing. A recent, probably the first evidence-based pilot trial to revert epigenetic changes did also not provide grounds for a larger clinical study. Clearly, better disease models need to be developed to identify and test novel intervention strategies to eventually improve the quality of life for patients with FSHD.

PMID:
16837171
DOI:
10.1016/j.bbadis.2006.05.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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