vinces99 writes: A trace substance in caramelized sugar, when purified and given in appropriate doses, improves muscle regeneration in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, according to new research. The University of Washington scientists behind the research said that the mice in their study, like boys with the gender-linked inherited disorder, are missing the gene that produces dystrophin, a muscle-repair protein. Neither the mice nor the affected boys can replace enough of their routinely lost muscle cells. In people, muscle weakness begins when the boys are toddlers and progresses until, as teens, they can no longer walk unaided. During early adulthood, their heart and respiratory muscles weaken. Even with ventilators to assist breathing, death usually ensues before age 30. No cure or satisfactory treatment is available. Prednisone drugs relieve some symptoms, but at the cost of severe side effects.