AMPK is mitochondrial medicine for neuromuscular disorders
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Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1), and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) are the most prevalent neuromuscular disorders (NMDs) in children and adults. Central to a healthy neuromuscular system are the processes that govern mitochondrial turnover and dynamics, which are regulated by AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). Here, we survey mitochondrial stresses that are common between, as well as unique to, DMD, DM1, and SMA, and which may serve as potential therapeutic targets to mitigate neuromuscular disease. We also highlight recent advances that leverage a mutation-agnostic strategy featuring physiological or pharmacological AMPK activation to enhance mitochondrial health in these conditions, as well as identify outstanding questions and opportunities for future pursuit.
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