Keeping in Touch Winter 2010

by Gerald C. Weinberg, President & CEO on December 31, 2009 - 1:02am

QUEST Vol. 17, No. 1

An American wit once wrote, “An optimist stays up to see the New Year in. A pessimist waits to make sure the old one leaves.”

As MDA rides out the difficult economy and its effect on fundraising and our programs, we’re very happy to see the old year leave. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

But as we look at the research progress that was made in the past year, and our plans to expand on that progress in 2010, we’re also excited to welcome in the New Year.

Clinical trials are moving forward in exon skipping for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and gene therapy for limb-girdle muscular dystrophy, while grants have been made to biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to develop new drugs to treat muscular dystrophy and Friedreich’s ataxia.

In ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), several drug trials are moving ahead, as is a trial of a compound to block harmful genetic instructions in a hereditary form of the disease. Our clinical research networks for DMD and ALS are providing critical infrastructure and support for research in these diseases.

In this issue of Quest, you’ll also learn about the latest research in facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy, myotonic muscular dystrophy and spinal muscular atrophy.

Research into treatments and cures for debilitating muscle diseases has been the number-one goal of the Association since its inception in 1950.

The decision in late 2009 to trim certain health care services was a very difficult one to make. But even with these changes, MDA maintains one of the most extensive services programs of any voluntary health organization in the country, offering medical care, help obtaining and repairing durable medical equipment, summer camp and many other valuable forms of support, including Quest magazine.

It’s our belief that research — the star under which MDA was born and by which we steer today — will someday make muscle diseases a thing of the past. 

Goodbye 2009. Hello 2010. MDA is driving research forward into a new era of human clinical trials and drug development with excitement and optimism.







Gerald C. Weinberg
President & CEO

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