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Participants needed for research study: evaluation and optimisation of muscle imaging biomarkers in support of non-ambulant Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy studies

25 April 2013

We would like to scan the arms and legs of some healthy volunteers to have as controls for this research.

Males aged 12-17 years are required 

The MRI scans will take place the Institute of Neurology, Queens Square on Tuesday afternoons from 1pm-4.30pm.

We are currently looking for young healthy male volunteers for our research study entitled "Evaluation and Optimisation of Muscle Imaging Biomarkers in Support of Non-ambulant Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Studies". This is a study that is looking at MRI imaging as a procedure to replace invasive muscle biopsies in a group of patients with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).

DMD is the most frequent inheritable lethal childhood disease, with an incidence of 1 in 5,000 new-born boys. First signs of muscle weakness typically occur before the age of 4, and then progress to the skeletal muscles in arms, legs and trunk. By age 13, individuals with DMD lose the ability to walk. For this reason we are currently working to find treatments that could increase their ability to have ambulation for longer. Whilst we are trying to find treatment options it is important to also find

non-invasive methods to evaluate muscle damage in these children.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has become a valuable tool to image the change in muscle. MRI provides non-invasive indices of abnormalities in DMD muscle that may offer valuable markers of efficacy for exon-skipping treatments. The time-course of these MRI indices are currently unknown, and particularly unclear in the non-ambulatory population.

For the type of scan we are performing there will be no radiation or contrast injected nor will any needles be used. This is a simple scan just taking images of the muscles taking up to 1 ½ hours.

Travel expenses will be reimbursed and a CD of the image will be given to the child should he want a copy.

The study has been ethically approved by a National Research Ethics Service (NRES) ethics


If you are interested or know anyone that would be please contact Dr Valeria Ricotti who will be able to provide more detailed information.

Dr Valeria Ricotti



Dr Valeria Ricotti  MRCPI, MRCPCH, Clinical Research Fellow, Dubowitz Neuromuscular Centre, UCL Institute of Child Health