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A Debilitating Disease

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Prof Dame Kay Davies is Dr Lee’s Professor of Anatomy at the University of Oxford and one of the world’s leading experts on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), a debilitating condition which has an early onset in young boys. The disease takes hold from around the age of five, and sadly cuts short their lives just 20-30 years later. Kay speaks with Voices from Oxford Presenter and Emeritus Professor in Cardiovascular Physiology Prof Denis Noble about her groundbreaking research into DMD. They discuss its discovery in the 19th century, the physiological processes at play, and how Kay and other researchers from around the world are working to develop a cure for this devastating illness. Kay also gives her insights into the psychological torment of many DMD families, revealing the 50-50 split between those who wish to know, and therefore plan for their son’s short life, and those who would rather be unaware and allow their family to enjoy life without the burden of a DMD diagnosis. The interview was filmed in the Master’s Lodgings at Balliol College, University of Oxford.