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Bones and muscular dystrophies

what do we know?

Wood, Claire L.a,b; Straub, Volkera

doi: 10.1097/WCO.0000000000000603
NEUROMUSCULAR DISEASE: Edited by Benedikt Schoser

Purpose of review Muscle and bone are intrinsically linked, and therefore, it is not surprising that many muscular dystrophies are associated with impaired bone health and increased risk of osteoporosis. Osteoporotic fracture is an important and preventable cause of morbidity and mortality. This article will firstly review the general causes of impaired bone health in muscular dystrophies and then focus on the evidence available for the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis in specific conditions.

Recent findings With the exception of DMD, there is a paucity of data regarding bone health in muscular dystrophies. However, it appears that in common with all types of muscular dystrophies that cause a significant level of muscle weakness and disability there is an increased risk of falls, fractures and decreased vitamin D levels. A better understanding of the extent of the impaired bone health and underlying causes could help to identify potential new therapeutic agents and aid clinical care.

Summary It would be prudent for clinicians to assess fracture risk in their muscular dystrophy patients and if appropriate, arrange surveillance and recommend vitamin D supplementation. Additionally, fracture should be considered in any patient presenting with new-onset bone pain.

aThe John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre and MRC Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases, Institute of Genetic Medicine, Newcastle University

bRoslin Institute, Edinburgh University, Edinburgh, UK

Correspondence to Volker Straub, The John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre and MRC Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases, Institute of Genetic Medicine, Newcastle University, Centre for Life, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE1 3BZ, UK. Tel: +44 191 241 8617; e-mail: volker.straub@ncl.ac.uk

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