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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2017, Article ID 7020295, 10 pages
Review Article

Are Antioxidants a Potential Therapy for FSHD? A Review of the Literature

Department of Physiology, School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

Correspondence should be addressed to Adam Philip Denny;

Received 22 February 2017; Revised 27 April 2017; Accepted 3 May 2017; Published 12 June 2017

Academic Editor: Janusz Gebicki

Copyright © 2017 Adam Philip Denny and Alison Kay Heather. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is an inherited myopathy affecting approximately 1 in 7500 individuals worldwide. It is a progressive disease characterised by skeletal muscle weakness and wasting. A genetic mutation on the 4q35 chromosome results in the expression of the double homeobox 4 gene (DUX4) which drives oxidative stress, inflammation, toxicity, and atrophy within the skeletal muscle. FSHD is characterised by oxidative stress, and there is currently no cure and a lack of therapies for the disease. Antioxidants have been researched for many years, with investigators aiming to use antioxidants therapeutically for oxidative stress-associated diseases. This has included both natural and synthetic antioxidants. The use of antioxidants in preclinical or clinical models has been largely successful with a plethora of research reporting positive results. However, when translated to clinical trials, the use of antioxidants as a therapeutic intervention for a variety of disease has been largely unsuccessful. Moreover, specifically focusing on FSHD, limited research has been conducted on the use of antioxidants as a therapy in either preclinical or clinical models. This review summarises the current state of antioxidant use in the treatment of FSHD and discusses their potential avenue for therapeutic use for FSHD patients.