Tom Brake backs muscle disease trials

April 6, 2011 10:24 AM

This week local MP Tom Brake backed a motion in Parliament calling for trials examining the causes of muscular dystrophy to be approved.

Tom signed the Early Day Motion to petition the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) to review the current regulations and allow a new IVF treatment to be trialled with humans.

Research carried out at Newcastle University has suggested that, through the use of IVF technology, a technique allowing women carrying the gene which causes the disease to bear unaffected children could be developed, effectively eradicating the disease.

However, current regulations mean that any studies into the IVF technique cannot take place outside of the laboratory, restricting any close investigations with patients afflicted with the condition.

Tom said: "The opportunity may well exist for us to devise a treatment that will completely eradicate this disease. It is vital that the scientific community and patient groups work together to decide the best outcome on taking these trials forward into human research."

Muscular dystrophy and related muscle diseases are rare and currently affect about seventy thousand people in the UK. Along with the gradual weakening of muscles, those affected experience, among other symptoms, nausea and in some cases progressive memory loss.

For more information about muscular dystrophy and related muscle diseases, visit the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign's website at, or call 0207 803 4832.

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