Page last updated at 18:34 GMT, Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Duchenne muscular dystrophy debate

SNP MSP Jim Eadie said the Scottish government had an "important role to play" in the efforts to find a cure to Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and called for Scotland to play its part in co-funding arrangements into medical research into the muscle wasting disease.

Mr Eadie was leading his member's debate entitled "Caring for and curing boys and men with Duchenne muscular dystrophy" on 20 November 2012.

He paid tribute to Action Duchenne who support boys and men afflicted with the disease and also paid tribute to those suffering from the disease and their families, some of whom were in the gallery for the debate.

DMD is inherited in an X-linked recessive transmission, that gradually causes the muscles to weaken.

About 100 boys are born with the condition in the UK each year, one in every 3,500 male births.

Throughout life the muscle wastes away and children can need a wheelchair by the age of 10.

The condition can become life-threatening before the age of 30, when it affects the muscles needed to breathe and pump blood around the body.

The Edinburgh Southern MSP welcomes what is considered groundbreaking research at Royal Holloway College, University of London, into potentially highly effective "exon skipping" treatment for the currently incurable muscle-wasting disease.

Mr Eadie's motion also says the current research is expected by Action Duchenne to produce the first wave of genetic medicines by 2014, with the potential to benefit at least 14% of patients.

He called for a simplified means of clinical trials for genetic medicines to be explored to promote further research.

Public Health Minister Michael Matheson said there was "no doubt everyone here shares the same ambition to find a cure for DMD".

Mr Matheson said these were "exciting times" in the search for a cure for treatments for the disease and said Scotland's chief scientist's office was "happy to consider co-funding arrangements with leading charities in the UK".

He added an official from the chief scientist's office had spoken to Action Duchenne, "with a view to co-funding such a project".

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