Neuromuscular Center | About the Study

Read the official study description on the National Institutes of Health website.

Who can participate?
See our full list of criteria for taking part in the study.

What is involved?

Children participating in the study will be evaluated every month at first, then less frequently, for up to 2 years in total. The number of visits will add up to 10 over the 2-year period.

The tests for the study itself take approximately 2 hours per session.  As such, if your child is coming to the hospital regularly, we can combine the research testing with his already scheduled clinical visits.  

The following will take place during your child's research visits:

  • a detailed medical history will be obtained
  • your child's height, weight and arm span will be measured
  • his subcutaneous fat and muscle girth for various muscle groups will be measured, using ultrasound
  • his myometry, or muscle strength in different muscle groups, will be measured
  • several functional tests will examine his arm function and movement
  • electrical Impedance Myography  (EIM) (described below)
  • quantitative Ultrasound (described below)

How will this benefit my child?

This study is not expected to benefit your child directly.  However, we hope this study will prove that these techniques are reliable and effective, so that they can be used for future research studies to help children with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Is there compensation for participating?

Participants will be provided a parking voucher and meal vouchers for each visit.

Electrical Impedance Myography

Boston Children's Hospital Neuromuscular ProgramElectrical Impedance Myography is a technology used to measure how well a tiny electrical current travels through muscle. The machine we use is called the SFB7, shown at right.

The four clips pictured are attached to small stickers, called electrodes, that we place on the child's skin.  Once all of the electrodes are attached, we hit a button on the machine which  starts the measurement.  Each measurement takes only a few seconds and is pain-free.

After each measurement, we move the electrodes to a different position and take another measurement. 

In total, we will take approximately 16 measurements.  This part of the study will take approximately 45-60 minutes altogether. 

Quantitative Ultrasound

Our study uses a standard ultrasound system. Pictures of different muscles are taken with the system, and the pictures are then analyzed mathematically. 

Each measurement takes only seconds and is entirely painless. This part of the procedure takes about 30 minutes.