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Muscular dystrophy; DMD; natural history; South Asia; genotype–phenotype


Brain function and its effect on motor performance in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an emerging concept. The present study explored how cumulative dystrophin isoform loss, age, and a corticosteroid treatment affect DMD motor outcomes. A total of 133 genetically confirmed DMD patients from Sri Lanka were divided into two groups based on whether their shorter dystrophin isoforms (Dp140, Dp116, and Dp71) were affected: Group 1, containing patients with Dp140, Dp116, and Dp71 affected (n = 98), and Group 2, containing unaffected patients (n = 35). A subset of 52 patients (Group 1, n = 38; Group 2, n = 14) was followed for up to three follow-ups performed in an average of 28-month intervals. The effect of the cumulative loss of shorter dystrophin isoforms on the natural history of DMD was analyzed. A total of 74/133 (56%) patients encountered developmental delays, with 66/74 (89%) being in Group 1 and 8/74 (11%) being in Group 2 (p < 0.001). Motor developmental delays were predominant. The hip and knee muscular strength, according to the Medical Research Council (MRC) scale and the North Star Ambulatory Assessment (NSAA) activities, “standing on one leg R”, “standing on one leg L”, and “walk”, declined rapidly in Group 1 (p < 0.001 In the follow-up analysis, Group 1 patients became wheelchair-bound at a younger age than those of Group 2 (p = 0.004). DMD motor dysfunction is linked to DMD mutations that affect shorter dystrophin isoforms. When stratifying individuals for clinical trials, considering the DMD mutation site and its impact on a shorter dystrophin isoform is crucial.


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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.