HOW YOUR DONATIONS ARE REVOLUTIONIZING TREATMENT AND CARE
One of the most exciting research areas that your donations support is the implementation of technology in treatment and care for people impacted by neuromuscular disorders. Over the last few years, thanks to your support, we’ve funded several projects that explore the use of new technology towards diagnosis, treatment development, caregiver support and quality of life.
In 2017 you funded Dr. Jodi Warman-Chardon and her collaborators to support their evaluation and implementation of a web-based Muscle MRI database that will help doctors use Muscle MRI to its fullest potential as a diagnostic tool. We know the road to obtaining a diagnosis is along one, and sometimes even when a diagnosis is made, it may not be accurate. This delay may have serious health consequences as an accurate diagnosis informs medical treatment options, eligibility for clinical trials and access to medication. Muscle MRI could be a game-changing diagnostic tool that will increase the accuracy of diagnosis and decrease the need for painful and often futile muscle biopsies.
A treatment-based technology with incredible promise is Dr. Ellen Roche’s work to develop an artificial diaphragm. Diaphragm failure is common in many types of muscular dystrophy, making it difficult for a patient to breathe. This results in low oxygen and, in the most severe cases, respiratory failure. Your support has brought this research team one step closer to developing an ‘implantable ventilator’ that will help the patient’s diaphragm continue to operate normally.
Research is not just about science in the typical lab setting. It’s about finding ways to improve the full scope of factors that affect people’s quality of life. A prime example of this is Dr. Louise Rose’s online peer support program for family caregivers. Building community and providing online support for caregivers may be less measurable but no less impactful. By supporting this research, you’ve helped build connections across Canada that would have been impossible in the past.
Community engagement and recreation are also powerful tools that support a better quality of life for those impacted by neuromuscular disorders. Dr. Oldford and Dr. Bleauare taking a look at how assistive technology can improve quality of life for individuals with neuromuscular disorders. They are using robotic toys modified with assistive devices to help people overcome the challenges they face in accessing activities independently.
The landscape of research is changing but thanks to the support of donors like you, researchers are able to explore how new technologies and robotics can advance the care and treatment of neuromuscular disorders for all Canadians impacted. Thank you for your continued support!