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For all those people, taking steroid on a regular basis, a study finds that weekly dose of steroid, rather than daily ones, promotes muscle repair.
The study has found that weekly dose of steroid can help speedy recovery in muscle injuries and repair muscles, damaged by muscular dystrophy - a disorder in which an organ or tissue of the body wastes away.
The findings indicated that giving weekly doses of prednisone also stimulated a molecule called KLF15, which is associated with improved muscle performance. It directs the production of annexins, proteins that stimulate muscle healing.
The study was conducted in mice, with broad implications for humans.
The researchers cautioned that one of the major problems of using steroids such as prednisone is that they cause muscle wasting and weakness when taken long term.
Lead investigator Dr Elizabeth McNally from Northwestern University Feinberg's school of medicine said that the researchers do not have human data yet, but these findings strongly suggest some alternative ways of giving a very commonly used drug in a manner that does not harm, but in fact helps muscle.
For the study, normal mice with a muscle injury received steroids just before injury and for two weeks after the injury.
However, its daily doses of prednisone, however, reduced KLF15, leading to muscle wasting.
The results suggested that the mice, who received two weekly doses of steroids after the injury performed better on treadmill testing and had stronger muscle than mice receiving a placebo.
Mice that received daily steroids for two weeks after the muscle injury performed poorly on the treadmill and in muscle strength studies, compared to placebo-treated mice.
Mice with muscular dystrophy that received weekly prednisone were stronger and performed better on the treadmill than those getting a placebo. When prednisone was given every day, the muscles atrophied and wasted.
McNally stated that it is known that long-term daily treatment with prednisone also has the side effect of causing muscle wasting in many people.
The study appeared in the journal of Clinical Investigation.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)