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May 1989

Muscular Dystrophy in the Chicken

Author Affiliations

Department of Neurology Henry Ford Hospital 2799 W Grand Blvd Detroit, MI 48202

Arch Neurol. 1989;46(5):484. doi:10.1001/archneur.1989.00520410018014

To the Editor.  —In a recent article1 concerning the benefit of prednisone therapy on the course of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, the authors indicate that glucocorticoids have also been shown to result in "a significant slowing or arrest in the progression of muscle weakness" in "autosomal recessive" muscular dystrophy in the chicken. While it is indeed remarkable that glucocorticoids are beneficial in both forms of muscular dystrophy, there are several important misconceptions about dystrophy in the chicken that should be corrected.First, muscular dystrophy in the chicken does not result in progressive muscular weakness. Biomechanical studies of chemically skinned avian dystrophic muscle fiber bundles have shown that increased resting stiffness rather than an impairment of active contraction is the fundamental biomechanical abnormality in this animal form of muscular dystrophy.2 There was no difference in the calcium-activated isometric tension in normal vs dystrophic avian pectoral muscle fiber bundles. Thus, there is

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