Bones and muscular dystrophies: what do we know?

Claire L Wood, Volker Straub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Muscle and bone are intrinsically linked, and therefore, it is not surprising that many muscular dystrophies are associated with impaired bone health and increased risk of osteoporosis. Osteoporotic fracture is an important and preventable cause of morbidity and mortality. This article will firstly review the general causes of impaired bone health in muscular dystrophies and then focus on the evidence available for the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis in specific conditions.

RECENT FINDINGS: With the exception of DMD, there is a paucity of data regarding bone health in muscular dystrophies. However, it appears that in common with all types of muscular dystrophies that cause a significant level of muscle weakness and disability there is an increased risk of falls, fractures and decreased vitamin D levels. A better understanding of the extent of the impaired bone health and underlying causes could help to identify potential new therapeutic agents and aid clinical care.

SUMMARY: It would be prudent for clinicians to assess fracture risk in their muscular dystrophy patients and if appropriate, arrange surveillance and recommend vitamin D supplementation. Additionally, fracture should be considered in any patient presenting with new-onset bone pain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)583-591
JournalCurrent opinion in neurology
Early online date4 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


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