There is no known cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, although recent stem-cell research is showing promising vectors that may replace damaged muscle tissue. Treatment is generally aimed at controlling the onset of symptoms to maximize the quality of life, and include the following:
* Corticosteroids such as prednisolone and deflazacort increase energy and strength and defer severity of some symptoms.
* Randomised control trials have shown that beta2-agonists increase muscle strength but do not modify disease progression. Follow-up time for most RCTs on beta2-agonists is only around 12 months and hence results cannot be extrapolated beyond that time frame.
* Mild, non-jarring physical activity such as swimming is encouraged. Inactivity (such as bed rest) can worsen the muscle disease.
* Physical therapy is helpful to maintain muscle strength, flexibility, and function.
* Orthopedic appliances (such as braces and wheelchairs) may improve mobility and the ability for self-care. Form-fitting removable leg braces that hold the ankle in place during sleep can defer the onset of contractures.
* Appropriate respiratory support as the disease progresses is important