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Breathing muscle strength in healthy children

The muscles responsible for breathing are absolutely essential for keeping us alive, but we generally don't think about them when everything is working correctly. Diseases that cause muscle weakness can also affect the breathing muscles, resulting in the need for breathing support from a machine and increasing the risk of pneumonia and other serious chest problems. In severe weakness, this can even lead to death.

Brunel University London is involved in an exciting research project investigating gene therapy for young children affected by a rare, life-limiting muscle disease called X-linked Myotubular Myopathy or XLMTM. The gene therapy programme has the potential to substantially improve health and quality of life in affected children. Breathing muscle strength is an important outcome being measured in the gene therapy study. There has however been very little research in the past into what constitutes 'normal' breathing muscle strength in children under the age of six.

This research project will therefore measure breathing muscle strength in a group of young children with no health problems, so that we have an accurate reference point when considering the results from the XLMTM gene therapy trial. As gene therapy offers great promise for a number of serious muscle conditions, the results from this study will also be of use in other research projects in the future. The study will also give us a greater understanding of how the breathing muscles develop and mature in the first few years of life.

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Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Dr Vicky MacBean
Dr Vicky MacBean - Experienced paediatric respiratory and critical care physiotherapist; research interests in respiratory physiology and interdisciplinary research

Related Research Group(s)

respiratory measurements (2)

Applied Respiratory Research Group - Applied respiratory research meeting the needs of respiratory-related healthcare

diverse group exercise (1)

Physical Activity in Health and Disease - The centre conducts interdisciplinary research to improve human health and performance through regular physical activity and exercise, and by limiting sedentary behaviour.

Partnering with confidence

Organisations interested in our research can partner with us with confidence backed by an external and independent benchmark: The Knowledge Exchange Framework. Read more.

Project last modified 02/10/2023