Postgraduate Profiles

Jessica Terrill

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Thesis: The role of oxidative stress in Muscular Dystrophies and treatment with antioxidants

Muscular Dystrophies are disorders that are caused by severe muscle wasting. These diseases can affect children (for example the fatal disease Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy) or adults (for example Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy). Whilst the genetic basis for these diseases has been identified- genetic abnormalities leading to loss of vital muscle proteins, the mechanisms for muscle wasting are not fully understood. I hypothesise that toxic molecules called Reactive Oxygen Species accumulate in dystrophic muscle which leads to a state called oxidative stress- known to cause tissue damage and cell death. The focus of my research is to measure oxidative stress in several mouse models for the two Muscular Dystrophies mentioned above. I also investigate the ability of antioxidants (molecules that can decrease oxidative stress) to improve the pathology in a mouse model for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Why my research is important

Muscular Dystrophies are devastating disorders and treatment options are limited and often unsuccessful. My research aims to better understand the mechanisms behind the diseases and to evaluate the use of antioxidants as potential therapeutic treatments.

Jul 2009

Jul 2012