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Researcher helping to pioneer medical therapy for Fragile X Syndrome presents latest findings

(CHICAGO) Neurological experts from across the U.S. and other countries including a nationally renowned researcher from Rush University Medical Center will discuss the latest findings in basic and clinical research for Fragile X at the 11th International Fragile X Conference, to be held July 23-27 in St. Louis. Families with children who are diagnosed with Fragile X also will be attending the conference.

Fragile X, an X-chromosome-linked condition, is the most common inherited cause of mental retardation and the most common known cause of autism or autistic-like behaviors.

Rush's Dr. Elizabeth Berry-Kravis, will be leading a number of discussions at the conference including a plenary session on promising new treatments and clinical sessions on stem cell research, seizures and psychopharmacology. In addition, she will be presenting research on the use of lithium to target the underlying defect in Fragile X Syndrome.

Dr. Berry-Kravis runs the only Fragile X clinic in Chicago and one of the few in the Midwest. Her research program also includes studies of fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS), a degenerative neurological condition which occurs in fragile X mutation carriers, and she will be presenting research on development of new methods for evaluating risk for FXTAS using a state-of-the-art imaging technique called diffusion tensor imaging.

Schedule of scientific and family friendly sessions led by Dr. Berry-Kravis include:

Plenary sessions:

  • New Treatments on the Near Horizon, Thursday, July 24, 9:45 a.m.
  • Seizure Disorders, Saturday, July 26, 2:45 p.m
  • Five Current Topics of Interest in Psychopharmacology of FXS, Saturday, July 26, 11 a.m.

Research abstract presentations:

  • FXTAS (Fragile X-Associated Tremor/Ataxia Syndrome)
    • Diffusion Tensor Imaging in Male FMR1 Premutation Carriers With and Without FXTAS, Wednesday, July 23, 1:30 p.m.
  • Fragile X Syndrome (FXS)
    • Vocabulary Comprehension in FXS, Wednesday, July 23, 4 p.m.
    • ERK Activation Kinetics as a Biomarker for Metabolic Status in FXS, Saturday, July 26, 9:45 a.m.
  • Medications
    • Open Label Treatment Trial of Lithium to Target the Underlying Defect in FXS

    • Fragile X Conference

    • Atypical Autonomic Regulation in FXS: Contrasts with Normal and Effects of Lithium, Saturday, July 26 1:30 p.m.

Scientific-clinical panel sessions:

  • A Conversation with the Experts: Drug Trials and Adults with -Developmental DisabilitiesEthical Issues and Informed Consent, Thursday, July 24, 11 a.m.
  • Stem Cell Research and Its Implications for Fragile X Research and Treatment, Thursday, July 24, 1:30 p.m.

Family-friendly panel sessions:

  • Psychopharmacology Q & A, Sunday, July 29, 9 a.m.
  • Questions, Answers and Difficult Cases: Treatment Issues, Sunday, July 27, 10:30 a.m.


Contact: Deb Song
Rush University Medical Center

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