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Brain Involvement in Dystrophinopathies Part 2

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Know the risks and potential benefits of clinical studies and talk to your health care provider before participating. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT04668716
Recruitment Status : Not yet recruiting
First Posted : December 16, 2020
Last Update Posted : October 6, 2021
Newcastle-upon-Tyne Hospitals NHS Trust
Leiden University Medical Center
Stichting Kempenhaeghe
Region Hovedstadens Apotek
Institut Necker Enfants Malades
Catholic University of the Sacred Heart
Università degli Studi di Ferrara
Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Professor Francesco Muntoni, University College London Hospitals

Brief Summary:
The objective of this study is to understand the relationship between DMD and BMD brain comorbidities, and the location of the gene mutation which causes the disease.

Condition or disease
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Becker Muscular Dystrophy

Detailed Description:

Intellectual disability and neurobehavioural comorbidities affect at least 50% of the individuals with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) which, although a rare genetic disease, is the most common form of muscular dystrophy in childhood. Several studies have documented that 25% of the DMD population has intellectual disability with recent studies suggesting that autism and clinically relevant hyperactivity affects 20% and 25% of DMD boys respectively. A milder allelic variant, named Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD), has similar prevalence in the population and is also associated with variable degrees of central nervous system (CNS) comorbidities, which however have been less well defined.

We will address this knowledge gap in a large multicentre study funded by the European Commission H2020 programme, involving 6 countries (Denmark; The Netherlands; France; Spain; Italy and UK) with the largest European neuromuscular centres and advocacy groups. The aim will be to study the neurobehavioural aspects of DMD and BMD as well as their correlation to the genotype.

This study will involve male participants with DMD aged 5-17 years and with BMD aged 5-50 years, who will complete a battery of cognitive and behavioural assessments. The objective of this study is to deep phenotype a cohort of 270 individuals with DMD and BMD, focussing on the cognitive and neurobehavioural aspects of these conditions. A sub-groups of patients will also undergo magnetic resonance imaging to investigate brain structure, volumetric features, perfusion, functional connectivity and metabolism. This information will then be correlated to the location of the underlying DMD gene mutation. The brain imaging part is also going to involve age and sex-matched controls.

While there have been major improvement on the definition of the genetic basis of the skeletal aspects of dystrophinopathies and their correlation to the DMD genotype, our knowledge on the spectrum of lifespan CNS comorbidities and the precise genotype / phenotype correlations in patients with different DMD mutations is still limited. A study looking into the association between different dystrophin isoforms and different CNS manifestations would therefore offer a unique opportunity to unravel the role of specific dystrophin isoforms and the associated circuitries in brain function.

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Study Type : Observational
Estimated Enrollment : 270 participants
Observational Model: Cohort
Time Perspective: Cross-Sectional
Official Title: Brain INvolvement in Dystrophinopathies (BIND): Deep Functional Phenotyping of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Becker Muscular Dystrophy Patients (WP5 and WP6) Part 2: a Neurobehavioural and MRI Study
Estimated Study Start Date : December 2021
Estimated Primary Completion Date : May 2024
Estimated Study Completion Date : May 2024

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. CNS Comorbidity Phenotyping [ Time Frame: 170 minutes ]
    Correlate CNS comorbidity phenotypes with genotype in DMD and BMD patients

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   5 Years to 50 Years   (Child, Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Male
Gender Based Eligibility:   Yes
Gender Eligibility Description:   DMD and BMD are sex-linked conditions, which occur predominantly in males.
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Sampling Method:   Non-Probability Sample
Study Population

The investigators will recruit both patients who have completed a related online study ( Identifier NCT04583917) and patients directly recruited from participating clinics or research settings. These patients will undergo a structured cognitive and neurobehavioural assessment. A subgroup of patients assessed in the research setting will be invited to also attend a second visit involving a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of the brain.

The investigators aim to recruit 80 participants in the UK and the number of participants in the remaining countries will be 190 patients.


Inclusion Criteria:

For DMD patients:

  • Male
  • age 5-17 years
  • genetically-proven diagnosis of DMD
  • genetic mutation that abrogates expression of Dp427 alone (assigned in DMD Group 1: Dp427-/Dp140+) or both Dp427 and Dp140 (assigned to DMD Group 2: Dp427-/Dp140-); or all isoforms (assigned to DMD group 3)

For BMD patients:

  • age 5-50 years
  • genetically-proven diagnosis of BMD
  • genetic mutation that decreases expression of Dp427 alone (assigned to BMD Group 1), of both Dp427 and Dp140 (assigned to BMD Group 2), or of all the isoforms (assigned to BMD group 3).

For MRI controls:

  • Male
  • age 5-50 years

Exclusion Criteria:

For DMD and BMD patients:

  • Lack of a molecular diagnosis of DMD or BMD
  • Mutation falls outside the regions of interest
  • A severe co-morbidity or planned surgical intervention within 6 months from the study which could interfere with the well-being of the participant

For MRI controls:

  • any muscle disease
  • a brain disorder (such as severe brain concussion in past history, congenital brain anomalies, epilepsy)

General exclusion criteria for MRI:

  • Claustrophobia
  • Pacemakers and defibrillators
  • Nerve stimulators
  • Intracranial clips
  • Intraorbital or intraocular metallic fragments
  • Cochlear implants
  • Ferromagnetic implants (e.g. thoracic implant for scoliosis)
  • Inability to lie supine during less than 45 minutes
  • not having a general practitioner
  • severe learning disability which will require a general anaesthetic
Additional Information:
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Responsible Party: Professor Francesco Muntoni, Chair of Paediatric Neurology, University College London Hospitals Identifier: NCT04668716    
Other Study ID Numbers: 20NM35
First Posted: December 16, 2020    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: October 6, 2021
Last Verified: September 2021

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Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: No
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No
Keywords provided by Professor Francesco Muntoni, University College London Hospitals:
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
Deep phenotyping
Gene therapies
Learning difficulties and autism
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Muscular Dystrophies
Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne
Muscular Disorders, Atrophic
Muscular Diseases
Musculoskeletal Diseases
Neuromuscular Diseases
Nervous System Diseases
Genetic Diseases, Inborn
Genetic Diseases, X-Linked