November 14, 2015
Muscular dystrophy is a devastating disease caused by a genetic mutation that results in an inability to produce the muscle protein dystrophin. This protein is necessary for the building and repair of muscles, and thus those with the disease continue to experience degeneration of muscle tissue. The disease predominantly affects boys, and begins around age 5, by age 12 most individuals must use wheelchairs and many die before age 30. A family of dystrophic dogs was discovered and bred with beagle dogs to create a colony with the disease. These dogs help researchers understand the progression of the disease and evaluate new treatments and possible cures.