UC Davis First in the State to Offer Life-Changing Therapy for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

"On August 4, the pediatric infusion room at UC Davis Medical Center was abuzz. A 5-year-old boy named Andrew Rodriguez was lying on a bed surrounded by family while receiving an infusion of the first-ever gene therapy for treating Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) for pediatric patients."

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International Study on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Provides Foundation for Future Research

"Researchers in the UC Davis Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation are launching an international study of the natural history of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). They will collaborate with the Cooperative International Neuromuscular Research Group (CINRG) and Therapeutic Research in Neuromuscular Disorder Solutions (TRiNDS), an association of medical and scientific researchers who work to improve the lives of people with neuromuscular diseases."

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UC Davis Health Helps Find 'Genuine Breakthrough' Through Clinical Trial for DMD Patients

"UC Davis is participating in a clinical trial which has found 'tremendous benefits' from stem cell therapy in improving heart function and arm strength."

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Dr. Craig McDonald and Team Receive 2023 Top Ten Clinical Research Achievement Award

"UC Davis Health is pleased to announce that the Chair of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Craig McDonald and his team will be honored with a 2023 Top Ten Clinical Research Achievement Award. The award is presented by the Clinical Research Forum. It is in recognition of McDonald's remarkable work developing a stem cell therapy to treat the most severe patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD)."

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Make A Wish and Sac Republic FC Grant A Wish

Michael, a player on the Sac Valley Flames power soccer team, received a gift from Make A Wish and the Sac Valley Flames. After his old power soccer chair broke, they gifted him with a brand new one. Go Michael and the Sac Valley Flames!

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Erik Henricson awarded an MDA Clinical Research Grant

"Erik Henricson, Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of California, Davis, was awarded an MDA Clinical Research Grant totaling $427,822 to develop an automated sensor technology to evaluate ambulatory function in people with neuromuscular disease in the home, community, and clinical settings." 

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Duchenne clinical trial offers promising results using unique therapy

“One of the most troubling aspects of DMD is that the loss of arm function as patients get older. That’s what makes our HOPE-2 findings so promising.”- Dr. Craig McDonald

The HOPE-2 clinical trials was conducted at sites nationwide to test the efficacy of specific manufactured stem cells derived from the heart muscle to help stabilize and improve heart muscle function among Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy patients. Dr. Craig McDonald, principal investigator for the HOPE-2 clinical trial, was able to offer promising findings from 12 months of data from the DMD participants showing improvement in their heart and lung function as well as upper body strength. These findings can help pave the way for a new and helpful treatment plan for severely affected DMD patients.

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ALS Clinic receives $125,000 from the ALS Association

On March 3, 2020, the ALS Association Sacramento Chapter presented Dr. Joyce with an oversized check representing the $100K in state funds, as well as the $25,000 the ALS clinic is eligible to receive for being a Certified ALS Center. The UC Davis PM&R ALS clinic was founded in 2009, and has been a part of the UC Davis PM&R MDA Designated Neuromuscular Disease Clinics since 2013. Their mission is to provide the best possible care for people living with ALS. Congratulations to Dr. Joyce and her clinical staff!

Two of our physicians among “Top Docs” in Sacramento Magazine

“An impressive number of UC Davis Health Physicians are listed among the region’s best doctors in the December issue of Sacramento.” 219 physicians from UC Davis Health were named Top Docs of 2019 in Sacramento Magazine, including two of our very own Neuromuscular Research physicians. Congratulations to Dr. Craig McDonald and Dr. Maya Evans for being two of the region’s “Top Docs”!

Congratulations to Dr. Joyce on receiving a Regional Emmy Award!

David Lowe, President and General Manager of KVIE station, presented UC Davis Health with a Regional Emmy Award for the documentary “Beyond the Ice Bucket Challenge”, featuring our very own, Dr. Nanette Joyce. The documentary focused on the rare and progressive neurodegenerative disease called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The title of the documentary referred to the 2014 campaign that involved the public recording the act of someone pouring ice water over their heads, then nominating others to do the same and donate to the ALS Association.

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Cellular Therapy for DMD in the Neuromuscular Research Lab

“This is the first therapeutic to lead to meaningful functional improvements in severe non-ambulatory patients with DMD.” UC Davis Health researchers tested their first intravenous systemic cellular therapy trial targeting the decline of muscle loss in young boys with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Dr. Craig McDonald was very excited to present the interim results of the HOPE-2 trial at the 24th International Annual Congress of the World Muscle Society in Copenhagen, Denmark. Therapies similar to this trial address the mobility impairments caused by DMD that can significantly improve the quality of life for young men. With these positive findings, Dr. McDonald expects to explore FDA approval for a Phase III clinical trial.

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Dr. Erik Henricson Discusses Nutrition in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

“Nutrition in older guys with DMD is so critically important.” In celebration of World Duchenne Awareness Day, Dr. Erik Henricson discusses the role of nutrition in boys with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. He highlights that boys with limited mobility due to DMD may struggle to choose the best nutritional choices to incorporate in their diet. Many young boys can be quite selective with their food choices and may not always choose the healthiest option. Dr. Henricson emphasizes how important it is to adequate nutrient and caloric intake among boys with DMD especially in the older population.

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Erica Goude speaks about Clinical Trial Readiness at Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy 2018

“Discoveries create hope. This is the most hopeful it has been and it’s so cutting edge”. Our, Research Team Manager, Erica Goude, explains the numerous options families have now for Duchenne research. She discusses how families have to ability to choose many types of trials, including different precision therapeutics, principal investigators, and other treatment options. The abundance of clinical trial opportunities allow families to choose a research study that will be best suited to their child.

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The Neuromuscular Research Lab Collaborates with Alpha Stem Cell Clinic

“Collaborating with the Alpha Clinic team enables us to capitalize on their research infrastructure and expertise for clinical trials focused on cell-based therapies. It complements the skills of UC Davis’ Neuromuscular Research Unit, which is a national leader in conducting Duchenne trials.”

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