Educating Young Children with Fragile X Syndrome

Educating Young Children with Fragile X Syndrome

When a team of elementary school teachers and therapists asked us to share strategies for working with young children who have Fragile X syndrome, we developed this session featuring tips, techniques, and stories. Katie Clapp, co-founder of FRAXA Research Foundation and parent of a young man with Fragile X, and Tracy Antonelli, whose two teenage boys have Fragile X, present this session to help teachers assist their students.

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Beneath the Surface of Fragile X Syndrome: Study Sheds Light on What’s Happening in Nerve Cells

Beneath the Surface of Fragile X Syndrome: Study Sheds Light on What’s Happening in Nerve Cells

This FRAXA-funded project has turned up some surprising results. At first, it might seem Kurosaki and Maquat have found yet another cellular process which is malfunctioning in Fragile X. But this finding is intimately related to previous findings of abnormal protein synthesis and misregulated transcription in Fragile X. FMRP (the protein lacking in Fragile X syndrome) is involved in chaperoning messenger RNAs within cells to active sites, and in controlling their translation into many different proteins. Some of these proteins are transcription factors, which feed back to the nucleus to control gene expression.

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Aripiprazole (Abilify) in the Treatment of People with Fragile X: An Anecdotal Account

Aripiprazole (Abilify) in the Treatment of People with Fragile X: An Anecdotal Account

The aim of this article is to discuss the use of Abilify (generic name: aripiprazole) as a treatment for people with Fragile X syndrome (FXS). As an “off-label” prescription, Abilify targets behaviors such as irritability, aggression, self-injury and severe tantrums.

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FRAXA Biotech Games™ Reimagined as Online Event for 2020

FRAXA Biotech Games™ Reimagined as Online Event for 2020

FRAXA Biotech Games™, a gathering of Boston area biotech companies to network in a friendly setting, and form new relationships and potential collaborations while raising money for Fragile X research, is adapting its 2020 event to maintain its commitment to Fragile X and autism research while prioritizing the health and safety of its contestants and volunteers. The organization’s traditional annual event will be transformed into an online interactive experience September 9-11, 2020.

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Cholesterol-Dependent Changes in Fragile X Astrocytes

Cholesterol-Dependent Changes in Fragile X Astrocytes

FRAXA Research Foundation has awarded $45,000 to Dr. Maija Castrén, of the University of Helsinki, Finland. Dr. Castren is working with Dr. Iryna Ethell, at the University of California at Riverside, to uncover mechanisms behind beneficial effects of lovastatin and cholesterol-dependent changes seen in the Fragile X brain.

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Considering Available Drugs for Fragile X: My Favorite Combination (So Far)

Considering Available Drugs for Fragile X: My Favorite Combination (So Far)

Which of the available drugs are best for fragile X? We tend to think of drugs according to their primary activity in the body, but very few drugs are totally selective and specific. There are differences between drugs in any given class, and these differences may be critical. Most drugs have “off-target” effects which are usually considered side effects, and it is these side effects which can have key advantages, in some cases.

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New Partners Aim to Accelerate the Discovery and Repurposing of Medicines for Rare Neurological Diseases

New Partners Aim to Accelerate the Discovery and Repurposing of Medicines for Rare Neurological Diseases

First Healx secured $56M in new financing to launch a global Rare Treatment Accelerator program to tackle Fragile X syndrome and 39 other rare diseases. Now they have built a partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim worth millions. It all started with a small FRAXA grant to Healx to repurpose available drugs for Fragile X.

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Recruiting: Metformin Clinical Trial for Ages 16-50 with Fragile X Syndrome

Recruiting: Metformin Clinical Trial for Ages 16-50 with Fragile X Syndrome

FRAXA Research Foundation is funding a clinical trial of metformin for teens and adults with Fragile X syndrome. The trial is being conducted by Dr. Sean McBride at Rowan University in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania. Men and women ages 16-50 with Fragile X syndrome are invited to participate.

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FRAXA Biotech Games, It Can Only Happen in an Open Community

FRAXA Biotech Games, It Can Only Happen in an Open Community

The FRAXA Biotech Games exploded onto Cambridge Crossing with a capacity crowd. What was immediately obvious was the genuine camaraderie and mutual support of the biotech community and its many vendors to help raise awareness of and funds for research on Fragile X, the most common inherited cause of autism and intellectual disabilities.

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Deep Molecular Profiling of Fragile X Mouse and Human Cells

Deep Molecular Profiling of Fragile X Mouse and Human Cells

FRAXA Research Foundation has awarded $90,000 to Dr. Joel Richter, Principal Investigator, and Dr. Sneha Shah, Postdoctoral Fellow, at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. They are using human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells to analyze gene expression in Fragile X syndrome.

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Reactivating the FMR1 Gene to Reverse Fragile X Syndrome

Reactivating the FMR1 Gene to Reverse Fragile X Syndrome

FRAXA Research Foundation and The Pierce Family Fragile X Foundation have awarded a 2019 grant of $90,000 to Dr. Jeannie Lee’s lab at Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital. They have discovered a method that will reactivate the FMR1 gene by treating cells with a cocktail of small molecules, under a specific regimen in vitro (patent filing pending).

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A Day in the Lab with FRAXA Investigator Dr. Tue Banke

A Day in the Lab with FRAXA Investigator Dr. Tue Banke

Recently Laurie Bowler and her 19-year-old son Casey, who has Fragile X syndrome, visited FRAXA research grant recipient Dr. Tue Banke at his University of Washington laboratory. We hope you enjoy Laurie’s wonderful description of their adventure! FRAXA awarded $90,000 to Dr. Banke to study the Developmental Profile of Glutamatergic Synapses in Fragile X.

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FRAXA Biotech Games, the Beginning of Something Great

FRAXA Biotech Games, the Beginning of Something Great

On September 20, 2018, FRAXA Research Foundation held the First Annual FRAXA Biotech Games™. The event was a “friendly” competition between greater Boston biotech companies and affiliated industry partners and vendors in a series of fun backyard lawn games. 42 teams of 4 players each played cornhole, KanJam, ladder golf and bucketball. Our goal was to establish an annual event in Cambridge, MA, that would unite the biotech community for an afternoon of fun competition, and raise money for biomedical research. We look forward to the upcoming Biotech Games!

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14th Annual Fragile X Poker Run Raises $12,135 for Fragile X Research!

14th Annual Fragile X Poker Run Raises $12,135 for Fragile X Research!

The 14th Annual Fragile X Poker Run was a resounding success. The previous fundraising record of $7,800 was eclipsed by >50%, coming in at $12,135!! This year a very special and moving moment occurred when Amber, who has cerebral palsy, was brought by her parents and positioned in front of the band. She was then serenaded by Mikey through many songs, culminating in Happy Birthday (her 20th). Not a dry eye in the crowd, including Amber and Mikey. Simply magical.

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Aripiprazole as a Treatment for Fragile X Syndrome

Aripiprazole as a Treatment for Fragile X Syndrome

Many medications are used to help people with Fragile X cope. But few clinical trials have been done on these drugs. Years ago FRAXA funded Dr. Craig Erickson to run a trial of aripiprazole (aka Abilify). FRAXA guest writer Hannah Miles recently caught up with Dr. Erickson to learn the results of the trial.

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Three-Dimensional Model for Identifying Fragile X Treatments

Three-Dimensional Model for Identifying Fragile X Treatments

With a $90,000 grant from FRAXA Research Foundation awarded in 2018, Dr. Peng Jin and Dr. Juhnee Kang at Emory University will develop and analyze Fragile X brain organoids to understand the disorder and identify treatment targets.

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FRAXA Funded Researchers Present at MA Fragile X Conference

FRAXA Funded Researchers Present at MA Fragile X Conference

On Saturday Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) hosted a Fragile X educational conference. Success Strategies for Individuals and Families Impacted by Fragile X and two of our funded researchers, Dr. Craig Erickson, and Carol Wilkinson, MD, PhD, presented giving an update on their current Fragile X clinical trials. Both being funded by FRAXA.

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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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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.

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NIH Investigator Carolyn Beebe Smith, PhD, Looks to Improve Sleep in Fragile X Syndrome

NIH Investigator Carolyn Beebe Smith, PhD, Looks to Improve Sleep in Fragile X Syndrome

Our sons with Fragile X Syndrome typically go to bed early and rise early. Sometimes they jump on us while we are sleeping at 3 a.m., excited to start their day. For heaven’s sake, why? The answer may come from Carolyn Beebe Smith, PhD, senior investigator, Section on Neuroadaptation and Protein Metabolism, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. She is studying why children, in particularly boys, with FXS have problems sleeping.

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Mark Bear’s Goal: Disease-Modifying Treatments for Fragile X

Mark Bear’s Goal: Disease-Modifying Treatments for Fragile X

Researcher Mark Bear, PhD, Picower Professor of Neuroscience, sees success developing disease-modifying treatments for Fragile X syndrome and other developmental brain disorders. Finally, hope. And it comes from his lab, The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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