Muscular Dystrophy

Oculopharyngeal Muscular Dystrophy (OPMD) is a degenerative muscular disorder that primarily affects the muscles of the eyes and pharynx (throat), resulting in problems with swallowing, speech and control of the eyelids. The root cause of OPMD is an inherited genetic anomaly that results in a malformed protein, which forms clumps that affect muscle function. Researchers at Emory University, led by Anita Corbett, PhD, are researching OPMD at a cellular level, trying to discern exactly how the disease works and, based on that, potentially coming up with ways to treat the disease. A "mouse model" is being employed to study the mechanism of the disease as well as explore treatment.