A trial of Duchenne muscular dystrophy involved tracking boys of all ages through a one‐year baseline period, followed by a one‐year trial of leucine versus placebo treatment. In this paper we develop a model for a total‐muscle‐strength score that uses the data of the extended baseline period in the evaluation of the leucine treatment. The model is based on a polynomial growth curve in age whose coefficients can vary according to treatment or phase. Maximum likelihood estimates of the parameters of the model are obtained from use of the EM algorithm. We propose tests for the adequacy of the model as well as for treatment effects. A quadratic model appears the most parsimonious fit to the data and there is no evidence of any leucine effect on scores. We examine the asymptotic power of the test for treatment effect and compare it with that of a simpler analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-241
Number of pages11
JournalStatistics in medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1986


  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy
  • EM algorithm
  • Extended baseline period
  • Longitudinal data


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