Nitric Oxide Drug Trial in Becker MD Now Open

People with Becker MD are invited to participate in a trial to determine whether a drug that increases nitric oxide levels can improve blood-flow regulation

Article Highlights:
  • Previous research has shown that the blood-vessel dilating drug tadalafil (Cialis) can normalize blood flow to muscles in men with Becker muscular dystrophy.
  • The new trial will test whether increasing nitric oxide levels also can increase blood flow to muscles.
  • A two-day visit to Los Angeles is required for participants.
by Margaret Wahl on October 14, 2013 - 5:00am

Update (Jan. 7, 2014): This trial is now closed to new participants.

A new drug trial is now under way at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles for men with Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD) who meet study criteria.

The study builds on previous research that demonstrated a muscle blood-flow abnormality in men with BMD that responds to a drug called tadalafil (Cialis). Tadalafil — also now being tested in BMD — increases blood flow to muscles via a biochemical mechanism called the nitric oxide pathway. The researchers will now test whether using a drug that increases nitric oxide levels can also improve blood flow to muscles. The drug works on a different part of the nitric oxide pathway.

About the study

The study requires two days at Cedars-Sinai. A participant can, for example, arrive on a Sunday and leave on a Tuesday. There is no cost to participate, and the study will cover all travel and lodging costs. It also will provide additional compensation of $150 per day (a total of $300 for two days).

Prospective participants must:

  • be male;
  • be 15-50 years old;
  • have a diagnosis of Becker muscular dystrophy made by a clinical neurologist and based on muscle biopsy analysis or DNA analysis; and
  • be able to walk 200 meters (656 feet) unassisted in six minutes.

Prospective participants must not:

  • have heart or lung disease by history or physical exam;
  • have a history of high blood pressure (blood pressure greater than 140/90);
  • have a cardiac ejection fraction (a heart function measurement) of less than 50 percent; or
  • have diabetes mellitus.

To participate

Contact Michael Nelson at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles at or (310) 967-3844.

For more information

To learn more about blood flow and muscular dystrophy, see Enhancing Blood Flow to Exercising Muscles.

About Clinical Trials

About Clinical Trials

A clinical trial is a test, in humans, of an experimental treatment. Although it's possible that benefit may be derived from participating in a clinical trial, it's also possible that no benefit, or even harm, may occur.

MDA has no ability to influence who is chosen to participate in a clinical trial.

To learn more about clinical trials, see Being a Co-Adventurer. For a more refined list of clinical trials, visit, a registry of federally and privately supported clinical trials in the United States and around the world. Select the "Find Studies" tab, and follow the instructions to narrow down your search results.

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