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Angelman Syndrome Foundation Takes Major Step Toward Furthering Research Efforts
Date:7/30/2009

ORLANDO, Fla., July 30 /PRNewswire/ -- The Angelman Syndrome Foundation today announced the formation of the Angelman Treatment and Research Institute (ATRI), which will direct the organization's rapidly increasing research funding. The ATRI will also serve as a hub for more than 30 organizations, researchers and scientists worldwide to share discoveries and treatments for this neuro-genetic disorder. The announcement of the ATRI was made during the Angelman Syndrome Foundation's biennial conference in Orlando, Fla.

ATRI will realize the Angelman Syndrome Foundation's "scientific roadmap" that directs its aggressive funding of Angelman Syndrome (AS) research. AS occurs in one in every 15,000 live births and exhibits symptoms such as: developmental delay; lack of speech; seizures; inappropriate laughter; and walking and balance disorders. Short term focus of the roadmap is to fund research that finds treatments that may cure symptoms of AS while continuing ongoing research and clinical trials involving UBE3A, the gene with abnormalities in AS patients. Since AS shares symptoms with several other disorders, including autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, Rett Syndrome, and Prader-Willi Syndrome, any progress toward treating and curing symptoms has the potential to positively affect more than 12 million people.

"The creation of the Angelman Treatment and Research Institute is exciting and timely. The priorities as established by the ATRI are right on in recognizing the continued need for expanding our fundamental knowledge of UBE3A and its role in brain development and function," said Michael D. Ehlers, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Neurobiology at Duke University Medical Center. "The Angelman Syndrome Foundation is to be applauded in having the vision to recognize the critical importance of basic research and in setting this research on a trajectory toward a cure. I see a future of great opportunity and adv
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SOURCE Angelman Syndrome Foundation
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