Cognition in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

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Grant Year

ANF Development Grant

Grant Type

Mathula Thangarajh, MD


Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA


Project Summary

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is the most common type of muscular dystrophy, affecting 1 in 3,500 boys, and is caused by mutations in DMD gene located on the X chromosome. Boys present in early childhood with delay in acquisition of motor milestones. There is also striking cognitive co-morbidity in these boys including speech delay, learning difficulties, and attention-hyperactivity. Of particular importance, core cognitive skills are often weak in DMD. Some of the core cognitive skills are potential targets for intervention. Indeed, children with sickle-cell anemia and childhood cancer survivors show improvement in salient cognitive skills following computer-based cognitive intervention. Therefore, cognitive intervention may be potentially useful to improve cognitive skills in DMD. Mitigating cognitive co-morbidity in boys with DMD will help them attain their full human potential and improve their quality of life. There is an urgency to address this unmet medical need, as the life-expectancy of boys with DMD has increased, and it is our collective responsibility to help emerging adults with DMD more capably meet their social, emotional, and financial milestones of adulthood. 

  • $49,410 paid over 1 year
  • $1,500 travel award to attend the AANEM Annual Meeting and present the research following completion of the project.
  • Complimentary AANEM Annual Meeting registration the year the research is presented.
  • Opportunity to present your research findings at the AANEM Meeting.
  • Complimentary AANEM membership for duration of funding period and a subscription to Muscle & Nerve during the duration of your project.

“This grant has helped me gain traction in my research area. It helped me collect pivotal preliminary data that I have used to apply for a Department of Defense grant."

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