The breakdown of muscle often accompanies chronic or long-term disease, making disease worse and sometimes hastening death, and doctors have no way to stop or slow it.
Researchers at Washington State University devised a method of delivering gene therapy to stop muscle wasting without affecting other functions of the body, according to a newly published study, which may help improve the results of other disease treatment.
Researchers in the new study say that while cancer kills people, many patients die because their muscles have shrunk beyond functional use, such as when heart muscle has wasted and can no longer function properly.
Previous attempts at treating muscle wasting have proven to be unsafe, the researchers say, because the hormones causing the condition, specifically one called myostatin, is important to other bodily functions. They found that targeting genetic fixes at muscles, though, stops their breakdown while not affecting the rest of the body.
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