Promising findings for patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy

The leading cause of death in boys and young men with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is heart muscle disease. A new study led by Subha Raman, MD, (pictured below) a cardiologist and professor at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, shows promise in treating those hearts. 

Dr. Subha RamanDr. Raman’s research shows that when certain heart failure drugs are given to patients with DMD early on, the progressive decline in heart function slows before symptoms are apparent. The groundbreaking details have been published in The Lancet Neurology. 

Building on what we’ve learned

Dr. Raman led a team of DMD experts at multiple sites that tested the combination of the drug eplerenone and either an ACE inhibitor or an angiotensin receptor blocker to decrease the progression of heart muscle disease.

They based this trial on their earlier lab findings that showed this combination of medicines reduced muscle damage and preserved function. 

After 12 months of starting the study medicine, patients in the eplerenone treatment group had significantly less decline in left ventricular function than in those on placebo. 

Nothing but BallouSkies

Ryan BallouBallouSkies is an organization started by Ryan Ballou (pictured right) of Pittsburgh, a young man with DMD, and his father that raises awareness and funding for Dr. Raman’s research of heart disease in muscular dystrophy patients. BallouSkies was the primary financial supporter of this clinical study.

Dr. Raman is propelled by this assistance. “This research progressed much faster thanks to their support. The work we have accomplished in just a few years would have taken a decade or more if we had to seek funding from traditional grant mechanisms alone.”

Read more about these innovative findings

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  • “This could quickly become standard of care for patients with DMD.”
    Linda Cripe, MD, co-investigator and a pediatric cardiologist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital
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