Improving Quality of Life, Digestive Health in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy: David Brumbaugh, MD


The associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine talked at the 2023 MDA Conference about how digestive health impacts patients with Duchene Muscular Dystrophy. [WATCH TIME: 4 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 4 minutes 

“We're moving into more not just disease modifying but potentially disease, curing therapies, gene transfer, therapy, etc. We're looking forward to a future where maybe we are not dealing with advanced[gastrointestinal] problems, we're dealing with very mild problems, if they exit at all."

In Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), gastrointestinal (GI) problems are very common in patients and are associated with significant morbidity and mortality.1 Despite the condition being prevalent in the DMD patient population, it is often understudied. Patients with DMD who report having bloating, diarrhea, and general discomfort, have been associated with a reduced quality of life.2

At the annual 2023 Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Clinical and Scientific Conference, David Brumbaugh, MD, presented the impacts of digestive health in DMD during a session on "DMD Beyond the Muscle." The session focused on the most common GI and nutritional concerns in the clinical management of DMD across different stages of life. Specific topics in the sessions included constipation and bowel movement, swallowing dysfunction, and nutritional assessment and guidance.3

Brumbaugh, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, sat down with NeurologyLive® in an interview at the conference to provide a brief overview of his presentation from the session. He talked about what he is looking forward to in the moving field of neuromuscular disease, specifically, research and clinical care for DMD. In addition, he spoke about the current lingering challenges despite the ongoing progress being made in the field. Brumbaugh also touched upon other important aspects of care regarding digestive health for patients with DMD.

Click here for more coverage of MDA 2023.

1. Watson-Fargie T, Raeside D, Davidson S, McCartney R, Clarke A, Farrugia ME. Morbidity and mortality associated with gastrointestinal dysfunction in neuromuscular disease: a single-centre case series. NeuromusculDisord. 2022;32(7):578-581. doi:10.1016/j.nmd.2022.05.006
2. Swiderski K, Read SJ, Chan AS, et al. Investigating the Potential for Sulforaphane to Attenuate Gastrointestinal Dysfunction in mdx Dystrophic Mice. Nutrients. 2021;13(12):4559. Published 2021 Dec 20. doi:10.3390/nu13124559
2. Brumbaugh D. Digestive Health Impacts from Top to Bottom. Presented at: MDA 2023; March 19-22; Dallas, TX. DMD Beyond the Muscle: A Holistic Approach Track.
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