MRI can be used to detect subtle changes in muscle tissue that allow early diagnosis of slowly progressing conditions, including facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy.
A recent study in the journal PLoS ONE looked at MRI as a way to detect FSHD, a disorder that affects face, shoulder, and arm muscles. According to a report in Muscular Dystrophy News, "doctors have difficulty evaluating FSHD muscle changes and the disease’s progression because current testing methods are unable to detect small differences occurring over short periods. Making it more challenging is that patients who are motivated can appear to have better muscle performance than they actually do."
“This slow disease progression and the poor sensitivity of the commonly used clinical scores mandates the utilization of more sensitive biomarkers which could be used to appropriately assess disease progression and the potential effects of therapeutic interventions,” the researchers wrote.
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