Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy: Current understanding and treatment

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Course Summary

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is the most common, terminal, childhood, genetic illness and at the same time is likely the most misunderstood condition. Recent innovative research has uncovered many mysteries of Duchenne including its etiology, pathophysiology and treatment. It is vital that we have a thorough understanding of the disease and deliver appropriate treatments based on the current evidence. Inadequate understanding of the disease can lead to muscle injury of patients who are already at risk for severe muscle degeneration. This course will explain the incidence, etiology, pathophysiology, progression and the stages of mobility of Duchenne. Therapy treatment, orthopedic management, activity modification and equipment selection will be covered. An update on current research and clinical trials. This course is ideal for PT, PTA, OT, COTA, SLP, PE/APE, RN and others involved in the care of persons with Duchenne.

  • Instruction by a leading national expert in Duchenne care
  • Practical techniques to help your clients manage their condition
  • Rich learning content
  • Many downloadable resources
  • Course completion certificate
  • Self-paced learning
  • Interactive quizzes
  • Ongoing access to course

Course Outline


Chapter 1: Introduction

  1. Lesson 1: Course Introduction

  2. Lesson 2: Duchenne Background

  3. Lesson 3: Dystrophin Protein


Chapter 2: Diagnosis

  1. Lesson 1: Diagnostic Overview

  2. Lesson 2: Pseudohypertrpohy

  3. Lesson 3: Gower

  4. Lesson 4: Waddling Gait

  5. Lesson 5: Duchenne Jog

  6. Lesson 6: Creatine Kinase

  7. Lesson 7: EMG

  8. Lesson 8: Muscle Biopsy

  9. Lesson 9: Genetic Testing

  10. Knowledge Check 1 (Chapters 1-2)


Chapter 3: Progression and Stages

  1. Lesson 1: Natural Progression

  2. Lesson 2: Mobility Stages Overview

  3. Lesson 3: Early Ambulatory Stage

  4. Lesson 4: Mid-Ambulatory Stage

  5. Lesson 5: Late/Transitioning Stage

  6. Lesson 6: Non-Ambulatory Stage


Chapter 4: Specialty Topics

  1. Lesson 1: Steroids

  2. Lesson 2: Respiratory Intervention

  3. Lesson 3: Nutrition

  4. Lesson 4: Cognitive Involvement

  5. Knowledge Check 2 (Chapters 3-4)


Chapter 5: Evaluation and Interventions

  1. Lesson 1: Subjective Evaluation

  2. Lesson 2: Objective Evaluation


Chapter 6: Orthopedic Management

  1. Lesson 1: Contracture Management

  2. Lesson 2: Therapy Strategies

  3. Lesson 3: Orthotic Strategies

  4. Lesson 4: Stander

  5. Lesson 5: Serial Casting

  6. Lesson 6: Orthopedic Consult

  7. Lesson 7: Spinal Therapy Strategies

  8. Lesson 8: Spinal Medical Management


Chapter 7: Exercise and Activity

  1. Lesson 1: Guidelines

  2. Lesson 2: Exercise

  3. Lesson 3: Upper Extremity Devices


Chapter 8: Mobility Equipment

  1. Lesson 1: Electric Scooter

  2. Lesson 2: Manual Wheelchairs

  3. Lesson 3: Power Wheelchairs

  4. Lesson 4: Custom Seating Systems

  5. Knowledge Check 3 (Chapters 5-8)


Chapter 9: Interventions by Stage

  1. Lesson 1: Early Ambulatory Stage

  2. Lesson 2: Mid-Ambulatory Stage

  3. Lesson 3: Late/Transitioning Stage

  4. Lesson 4: Non-Ambulatory Stage


Chapter 10: Referrals and Research Updates

  1. Lesson 1: Referrals and Research Updates


Final Exam

  1. Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Course Post Test


4hrs 30min



Jennifer Wallace Valdes, PT

has experience in pediatrics and with an emphasis in the muscular dystrophy population since 2002. She provides evaluation, treatment and consultations for those with Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy. She has been invited to present current treatment topics and advances at Duchenne conferences, Academy of Pediatric PT Annual conference and has taught continuing education to healthcare professionals since 2009. She is the owner of Duchenne Therapy Network, and PT Director of CureDuchenne Cares, a non-profit patient outreach and education program.



One of the best courses I have been to, comprehensive and applicable to my immediate treatment of the Duchenne population. Good verification, reinforcement and updates to further knowledge and treatment skills.

Judith A. Koskodan, Michigan

Working with Duchenne patients is different than other patients you work with as a PT. What is normal for other patients could be detrimental to a Duchenne patient’s health.

Elina Gonzalez, California

The CureDuchenne Cares program exposed me to treatments that were catered directly to patients with Duchenne. This program helped translate our typical physical therapy methods into appropriate and effective treatment...

Karin Gorman, Arizona

Through the CureDuchenne Cares program, I learned the importance of listening to my patients just a little bit more. Now I let the child drive the treatment because nobody knows what he’s going through except for him.

Sandi Preston, New York

Therapists have a tremendous role to play in the optimum clinical management of patients with Duchenne. This can be achieved through continued education and greater participation in organizations such as CureDuchenne Cares,...

Jerry Hsu, California

The CureDuchenne Cares program is one of the most impactful courses I’ve ever taken,” Dani explains. “This program has empowered me to become the best physical therapist that Duchenne patient – and their family – needs...

Dani Trees, Texas

Get started on the path to giving your Duchenne patients the best care.

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