Prefrontal Cortex Network Dynamics in Fragile X Syndrome

Prefrontal Cortex Network Dynamics in Fragile X Syndrome

With a $90,000 grant from FRAXA Research Foundation from 2016-2017, Dr. Daniel Johnston and Dr. Jenni Siegel at the University of Texas at Austin are analyzing pre-frontal cortex (PFC) dysfunction in the fragile X model. They have preliminary evidence that fragile X mice are severely impaired in a prefrontal cortex (PFC)-dependent task.

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Can NKCC1 Inhibitors Correct Synaptic and Circuit Hyperexcitability in Fragile X Syndrome?

Can NKCC1 Inhibitors Correct Synaptic and Circuit Hyperexcitability in Fragile X Syndrome?

With $258,000 in grants since 2013 from FRAXA Research Foundation, Dr. Anis Contractor and Dr. Qionger He at Northwestern University are exploring the potential of the available drug bumetanide to correct altered GABA signalling in a mouse model of fragile X syndrome.

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$75,000 Raised for Fragile X Research by Friends of FRAXA at our Fall Fling

$75,000 Raised for Fragile X Research by Friends of FRAXA at our Fall Fling

On Thursday, September 7 over 150 friends of FRAXA joined us at the Smith Barn at the Peabody Historical Society for the second annual FRAXA Fall Fling. Together we raised over $75,000 for fragile X research — including a hand-delivered check for $25,000! Families from as far away as Miami, Florida joined us, even with hurricane Irma approaching their home state. Unfortunately, Irma ambushed Weather Channel Storm Tracker and fragile X parent, Jim Cantore.

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A Neuron to Remember: Correcting Imbalances in Fragile X Syndrome

A Neuron to Remember: Correcting Imbalances in Fragile X Syndrome
FRAXA Fellowship Awarded May 2016 and Renewed September 2017 University of Edinburgh $90,000 over 2 years "Enhancement of NMDA Receptor Signaling for the Treatment of Fragile X Syndrome" Principal Investigator Emily Osterweil PhD  Postdoctoral Fellow Stephanie Barnes PhD   University of Edinburgh Researcher Emily Osterweil, PhD, Probes the Brain’s Biochemistry to Correct Imbalances We know the “X” in fragile X refers to the X chromosome, but it could just as easily refer to the unknown. Such as why do people with fragile X have an excessive production of new proteins in their brains that lead to imbalances? That question is being dissected in the lab of Emily Osterweil, PhD, chancellor’s fellow, Centre for Integrative Physiology, University of Edinburgh, UK. Dr. Osterweil is using insights from previous experiments to identify new treatment strategies for fragile X. Her goal is to understand the biochemistry of the brain better. She aims to correctRead more

Altered Neural Excitability and Chronic Anxiety in a Mouse Model of Fragile X

Altered Neural Excitability and Chronic Anxiety in a Mouse Model of Fragile X

With a $35,000 grant from FRAXA Research Foundation in 2016, Dr. Peter Vanderklish at Scripps Research Institute, and colleagues, explored the basis of anxiety in fragile X syndrome.

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Development of a High-Content Synapse Assay to Screen Therapeutics for Fragile X Syndrome

Development of a High-Content Synapse Assay to Screen Therapeutics for Fragile X Syndrome

With a $45,000 grant from FRAXA Research Foundation in 2009, Dr. Mark Bear and Dr. Asha Bhakar used High Content Screening (HCS) to develop an assay sensitive to the effect of the FXS genotype. This project was funded in full by NIH after the first year.

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Clinical Trial of Ganaxolone in Patients with Fragile X Syndrome

Clinical Trial of Ganaxolone in Patients with Fragile X Syndrome

With a $90,000 grant from FRAXA Research Foundation funded during 2014-2015, Dr. Frank Kooy and colleagues at the University of Antwerp are conducting a double blind crossover trial of ganaxolone in patients with fragile X syndrome. Results of this study were mixed (see Marinus: Results from Phase 2 Exploratory Clinical Study Support Continued Development of Ganaxolone in Fragile X Syndrome.

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Fragile X Clinical Trial on Novartis’s AFQ056 Opens Enrollment

Fragile X Clinical Trial on Novartis’s AFQ056 Opens Enrollment

Elizabeth M. Berry-Kravis, MD, PhD has informed us that Rush University Medical Center in Chicago is enrolling the first patient in the NeuroNext learning trial for children ages 3-6 this week. This is the start of a large-scale fragile X clinical trial of Novartis AFQ056 (an mGluR5 antagonist) with children.

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Neural Markers of Fragile X: A Powerful New Tool for Clinical Trials

Neural Markers of Fragile X: A Powerful New Tool for Clinical Trials

Once the neural marker is identified for a particular challenge, such as kids with poor language versus good language, neural markers can be measured during drug and behavioral therapy trials to see if a child is improving based on objective biological measures.

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Targeting Serotonin Receptors to Treat Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms

Targeting Serotonin Receptors to Treat Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms

With a $90,000 grant from FRAXA Research Foundation awarded in 2017, Dr. Clinton Canal targets seratonin receptors. “There are 15 unique serotonin receptors (at least) and many of them impact the function of brain circuits that are impaired in neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders,” said Dr. Canal. “Results from this project could guide new drug discovery or drug repurposing for fragile X.”

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Fragile X Awareness Day Origins and a Tribute

Fragile X Awareness Day Origins and a Tribute

July 22 is National Fragile X Awareness Day, but I’ll bet few know the history behind it.

In 2000, before there was such a thing as a Fragile X Advocacy Day, FRAXA Research Foundation and David Busby (husband to Mary Beth, father to two adult sons living with fragile X, a member of FRAXA’s pioneering leadership team, and a prominent and politically well-connected DC lawyer) were running fragile X advocacy in Washington, DC.

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FRAXA Fall Event – Sept 16, 2017 – Lagrangeville, NY

FRAXA Fall Event – Sept 16, 2017 – Lagrangeville, NY
15th Annual FRAXA Fall Jeans-for-Genes Join us to find a cure for fragile X! Saturday, September 16, 2017 • 6:30 pm Crosswinds Equestrian Center 17 Crosswinds Lane LaGrangeville, NY 12540 Buy TicketsDonateFRAXA Fall Event Ron and I are so blessed to be surrounded by kind, generous friends who always seek to help us in our search for a cure for Fragile X Syndrome. This year we are thrilled to host our event in collaboration with Crosswinds Equestrian Center who is donating their facility and Half-Time Beverage who is donating refreshing craft beers. This will allow more money to benefit FRAXA Research Foundation! We know this new venue promises to be filled with family, friends, delicious food, and even a mechanical bull to help create wonderful memories. Jeans and comfortable shoes welcome! Tickets: $125 each Buy TicketsDonate If you have any questions or comments, please contact Amy Watkins at awatkins@fraxa.org.  Fall EventRead more

Patrick’s PALS 21st Annual Basketball Tournament

Patrick’s PALS 21st Annual Basketball Tournament

Play to Find a Cure for Fragile X PAL of the Year: Bob Socci New England Patriots Radio Announcer Special Guest: Bob Ryan Boston Globe Sportswriter Honorary Chair: Scott Shuster Special Friend of Patrick Saturday, June 3, 2017 8:00am – 3:00pm Buckingham Browne & Nichols School, Athletic Center 80 Gerrys Landing Rd Cambridge, MA 02138 PALS is a 3-on-3, 32-team double elimination tournament that raises funds in honor of those affected by Fragile X, including James & Pamela Vershbow’s son Patrick.Your registration fee ($50 per player) will cover breakfast, lunch, refreshments, t-shirt, contests with prizes, trophies and gift certificates for the finalists, and a silent auction. Donations and sponsorships gratefully accepted! Play in PALS XXI either as: A team – maximum of 4 players. A single – you will be assigned to a team short a player or looking for a fourth. For more information contact Jimmy Vershbow at Patricks.Pals@comcast.net.

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Metformin, Diabetes Drug, Potential Fragile X Treatment

Metformin, Diabetes Drug, Potential Fragile X Treatment

“We treated mice with metformin and corrected all the core fragile X deficits. We are optimistic about using metformin in human clinical trials. This is a generic drug with few side effects” says Nahum Sonenberg, PhD, James McGill Professor, Department of Biochemistry, McGill Cancer Center, McGill University.

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Which is the right FMRP for Therapeutic Development of Fragile X Syndrome?

Which is the right FMRP for Therapeutic Development of Fragile X Syndrome?

With a 2-year, $90,000 grant from FRAXA Research Foundation over 2016-17, Dr. Samie Jaffrey at Weill Medical College of Cornell University explored which FMRP isoform is the best target to treat fragile X syndrome.

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Genes and Gems Fundraiser raises $40,000 for Fragile X Research

Genes and Gems Fundraiser raises $40,000 for Fragile X Research
On April 8, our fabulous friends of FRAXA in Ohio put on another great show as they held their Genes and Gems fundraiser at the St. Charles Preparatory School in Columbus. It was a night to bring together over 300 families, friends and supporters of fragile X research. The event included an inspiring presentation by the well-loved local fragile X physician and researcher, Dr. Craig Erickson, from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. From the great conversations, delicious food, and the silent and live auctions (including a ride on the Goodyear Blimp!), it was clear that everyone had a wonderful time. We want to thank all those who attended Genes and Gems and made generous donations to the FRAXA Research Foundation. A very special thanks to the Planning Committee for their tireless work and commitment to putting on this special event. The Barden Family The Heiman Family The Frederick Family The Lafferty FamilyRead more

TD Bank invites Friends of FRAXA to Watch the Bruins

TD Bank invites Friends of FRAXA to Watch the Bruins

Fifty friends of FRAXA enjoyed an amazing night at the TD Garden in Boston on March 30. They gathered to watch the Boston Bruins take on the Dallas Stars. It was a great opportunity for us to unite the greater Boston fragile X community. We were able to convene and thank some of our local families and introduce them to university and biotech scientists who are working to find a cure for fragile X. The night was made available by a generous donation of the Garden View Room by TD Bank.

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Callum Cup 2017 Raised over $9200 for Fragile X Research

We are tremendously grateful to the Millburn United men's soccer team, of Millburn, New Jersey, who held the 2017 Callum Cup on Sunday, July 2, 2017. They were honoring Callum Murphy, son of the team goalkeeper at Millburn United. Together with their friends and families, the team raised over $9000 for fragile X research! This event was made possibly by co-hosts Andrew Murphy and Nick Dawes. Thank you all! Donors -- Thank you all so much! Kathleen Warnock Sean Mahoney Daniel Losik Martin Leys Alexia Bucciarelli James Padykula Margaret Fox Beth Hopkins James Bayne Eva Lesiak Scott Heiman Brian Levine Vlad Sali Jean-Luc DeguinesRead more

Biomarker Discovery and Validation for Fragile X Syndrome

With a $60,000 grant from FRAXA Research Foundation in 2015 that was renewed in 2016, Dr. Eric Klann of New York University will research biomarkers in fraile X syndrome and how to translate these markers from mouse models to human patients.

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Did Tolerance Result in Fragile X mGluR5 Clinical Trial Failures?

Did Tolerance Result in Fragile X mGluR5 Clinical Trial Failures?

Although the clinical trials failed to show efficacy in the patient population and Novartis and Roche discontinued their fragile X development programs, Dr. Senter has worked with Mark Bear, PhD to carefully review parent observations. Those caregiver reports suggested tolerance to mGlu5 antagonists antagonists developed quickly, consistent with some preclinical findings in the mouse model.

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Repurposing Available Drugs to Treat Fragile X Syndrome – FRAXA Initiatives

Repurposing Available Drugs to Treat Fragile X Syndrome – FRAXA Initiatives
FRAXA Research Foundation was founded in 1994 to fund biomedical research aimed at finding a cure for fragile X syndrome and, ultimately, autism. We prioritize translational research with the potential to lead to improved treatments for fragile X in the near term. Our early efforts involved supporting a great deal of basic neuroscience to understand the cause of fragile X. By 1996, these efforts had already begun to yield results useful for drug repurposing. To date, FRAXA has funded well over $25 million in research, with over $3 million of that for repurposing existing drugs for fragile X. Here are some examples of FRAXA-funded work on repurposing available drugs for fragile X syndrome: Lithium In the mid-1990s, the Greenough lab at the University of Illinois discovered that FMRP, the protein missing in fragile X, is rapidly translated in dendrites in response to stimulation of glutamate receptors. FRAXA funded preclinical validation of this discovery in theRead more

Fragile X Research Tackles High Anxiety – Peter Vanderklish

Fragile X Research Tackles High Anxiety – Peter Vanderklish

Yes, we all know the signs of fragile X anxiety: Ears begin turning red followed by incessant pacing, heavy breathing, stiffening body, flapping, jumping, avoidance or yelling. Sometimes, it’s the more severe screaming, pinching, scratching, biting and general tearing things up or, worse, the nuclear meltdown.

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