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DNA
26 March 2010
Washington, DC USA

Taking a step further from a recent rodent study, a Cedars–Sinai Heart Institute cardiologist is probing if drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction could also be used to improve muscle blood flow and reduce fatigue in muscular dystrophy patients.

A recent study showed beneficial effects of tadalafil (also known as Cialis) in mice with an animal version of Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy.

Only two doses of tadalafil improved muscle blood flow, allowing the dystrophic mice to perform more exercise with less muscle injury.

The new short–term clinical trial will move the testing from animals to human patients with Becker muscular dystrophy and examine the effects of acute tadalafil dosing on muscle blood flow during a bout of exercise.

Patients will take two doses of tadalafil prior to exercising. Then doctors will measure whether muscles receive increased blood flow and therefore are better protected during exercise.

“This is an exciting next step in the research I have been doing for 25 years, because we don’t need to create a new drug — the drug already exists. We now have the opportunity to find out if tadalafil can offer some hope for improving the lives of patients and allow them to do more exercise with less muscle injury,” said Victor.

The study is open to adult males aged 18–55, who have Becker muscular dystrophy as well as adult males who don’t have it.

And it includes includes hand grip exercise testing, measurements of muscle blood flow and oxygen delivery, and magnetic resonance imaging of the muscles.

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