High Hopes for New Treatments at Fragile X International Conference

ST. LOUIS, July 21, 2008 /PRNewswire/ -- Breakthrough research findings describing potentially significant new treatments for fragile X syndrome (FXS) will be presented to nearly 1,000 family members and professionals at the 11th International Fragile X Conference in St. Louis July 23-27. More than 200 speakers will describe the latest treatments for symptoms related to the mutation of the Fragile X gene and powerful new medications being researched.

Multiple early trials are under way of drugs that show great promise for improving the cognitive, anxiety and behavioral problems associated with FXS.

"Many new treatments target correcting the mechanisms that cause FXS, in contrast to supportive treatments that address various symptoms that dominated past research efforts," wrote Elizabeth Berry-Kravis, M.D., Ph.D., in the National Fragile X Foundation Quarterly (http://www.fragilex.org/html/journals.htm) journal.

Recently featured in Time (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1818268,00.html) magazine, Fragile X research is being carried out in all corners of the globe. In the United States, Congress recently appropriated nearly $2 million for continued funding of FXS-related public health activities via the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. The National Institutes of Health will fund nearly $25 million in FXS research this year.

The biennial international conference is preceded on July 22 by National Fragile X Awareness Day, proclaimed by Congress in 2000. FXS, the world's leading known cause of inherited intellectual disability (formerly referred to as mental retardation), is also the most common known genetic cause of autism. Scientists are studying FXS as a possible model for better understanding the role that genes play in autism. FXS today affects more than 100,000 Americans. Another one million are carriers of the Fragile X mutation and at risk of passing it on to their children and developing the newly discovered conditions of fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS), a Parkinson's-like condition causing tremor, balance and memory problems in adults, and fragile X-associated primary ovarian insufficiency (FXPOI), a condition that can result in premature menopause for women as early as their late teens.

For more information, visit the National Fragile X Foundation web site at FragileX.org (http://www.fragilex.org/html/home.shtml).

CONTACT: Robert Miller of National Fragile X Foundation, +1-925-938-9300, RobMiller@fragilex.org

Web site: http://www.fragilex.org/http://www.fragilex.org/html/journals.htm/http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1818268,00.html/http://www.fragilex.org/html/home.shtml//

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Posted: July 2008

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