Drug combo slows heart decline in muscular dystrophy

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WPVI) -- A new study is out offering new hope to patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, the most common form of the crippling disease.

A combination of common heart drugs could help boys and young men live longer.

A trial showed that adding Eplerenone to ace inhibitors or a class of drug known as A-R-B dramatically slowed the progression of heart failure.

That's a leading cause of death for those with M-D.

"Based on this study we can say, once you see those very early changes, it probably makes sense to start this combination of medicines to protect the heart from further decline," says Dr. Subha Raman, of Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center, one of the medical centers involved in the trial.

Doctors in the trial hope the drug combo will soon become the standard of care.

The research team also recommended testing boys earlier, giving them cardiac M-R-I's beginning at age 7.

Often, the first signs of heart failure aren't picked up until damage is already done.