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$21.8 Million NIH Grant for Fragile X Research
Date:9/6/2007

Five-year study to focus on most common cause of inherited mental

impairment and Parkinson-like syndrome

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- A team of researchers at the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine and the M.I.N.D. Institute, in collaboration with four allied institutions, has been awarded a five-year, $21.8 million Interdisciplinary Research Consortium grant from the National Institutes of Heath, the largest single federal award to date in support of research related to the Fragile X (FMR1) gene. Paul Hagerman, MD, PhD, is the principal investigator of the consortium, with Randi Hagerman, MD, and Cameron Carter, MD, the co-principal investigators. The Hagerman team has long been supported in Fragile X research by The National Fragile X Foundation (NFXF), whose funding of earlier research projects proved critical in setting the stage for the NIH award.

The award will support a broad interdisciplinary effort studying the mutation of the FMR1 gene responsible for fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS) and fragile X syndrome (FXS). It will help develop targeted treatments for FXTAS, a neurodegenerative disorder, its closely related conditions of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, and for FXS, a neurodevelopmental disorder. The award will result in the creation of the NeuroTherapeutics Research Institute (NTRI) at UC Davis.

According to Paul Hagerman, "Fundamental research on neuronal function in both human and mouse cultured cells, as well as work in whole animals, will expand our knowledge of the processes that underlie both fragile X syndrome and FXTAS. This research should inform our treatments for both disorders, providing a nice economy of scale."

FXTAS is one of the most common late-onset, neurodegenerative disorders known to be associated with a single gene. Its core features include progressive tremor and difficulty with balance and walking, with associated features
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SOURCE The National Fragile X Foundation
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