Those of you who were at the Houston Conference heard exciting news about the development of an international database on MECP2 Duplications. Whether or not you were in Houston for the conference, this is an opportunity to participate in an exciting project. Registering your child in the database is something that you can do to help move research along. It’s free, easy, and you can do it right now. The sooner we get our boys and girls registered, the faster the project will move toward benefiting our loved ones.
To get started you can go to Go to interrett.org.au
The 2nd MECP2 Duplication Syndrome Family Conference will be held in Houston, Texas, March 27-29, 2013. To download a conference brochure, use this link: 2013 Houston MECP2 Conference Brochure [Click on this link to download Conference Brochure]. The conference will be held at the Hilton Plaza Medical Center Hotel: Continue reading
5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) is a substance found in many cells and particularly in the brain cells. Although there is much that remains unknown about it, it has been receiving a lot of attention from researchers because of its apparent pole in epigenetics. Epigenetics refers to the process by which gene expression is modified by non-genetic factors, such as external environmental influences. For example, our DNA may determine the likelihood that we we will develop high blood pressure later in life, but this can be modified by a lack of an adequate diet in childhood or even our during our mother’s pregnancy. Our DNA is not altered but some genes may be “turned up” and others “turned down” by our other factors. Exactly how these processes work is currently a major research area for many researchers, and some researchers believe that 5hmC may be an important piece of the puzzle. Continue reading
This entry starts a short series on bone density and risk of fractures in children and adults with MECP2 Duplication Syndrome. May be a good place to start is to say that bone density issues are not well recognized as a characteristic of MECP2 Duplication Syndrome. Nevertheless there are a number of reasons to suspect that bone density issues and fractures are special concerns for individuals with MECP2 Duplication Syndrome.
First, in May 2011, when families got together in Houston for the first MECP2 Duplication Syndrome Family Conference, Continue reading
Over the years, MECP2 Duplication Syndrome has been also know as (AKA) a number of other names. Some of these might be considered to be exact duplicates. Others are overlapping categories. Here is a short (and likely incomplete) list of names, posted here for two reasons. (1) this may help families or other interested people to find this website if they have been given one of the other names. (2) If anyone is searching for information regarding MECP2 Duplication Syndrome, they may have better results if they use a number of these search terms. Continue reading
Something very unusual appears to be happening related to the birth of some babies with MECP2 Duplication Syndrome. Some mothers report that there babies with MECP2 Duplication Syndrome were premature, but a number of others say that their child was born full-term on or near the expected due date but that a pediatrician or neonatologist who examined their baby right after birth told them that they were mistaken and physical examination made it certain that their babies were premature. Continue reading
Whether or not MECP2 Duplication Syndrome is associated with a higher rate of miscarriage during pregnancy remains an open question. Some families have reported a history of miscarriage in families carrying the duplication and voiced the question of whether there is a connection.
At this point there seems to be inadequate data to draw a conclusion. However, one research study crossed MECP2 Duplication Lab mice with other lab mice. Simple genetics would have predicted that 25% of offspring would have MECP2 Duplications, but researches found that only 11% of surviving offspring had the duplication (Alvarez-Saavedra et al., 2010). This strongly suggests that MECP2 duplication reduces the chances of fetal survival, but there might be some other explanation. In addition, even if true, the applications of these findings to humans is unclear.
So the question remains open at this time pending further research.
Alvarez-Saavedra, M., Carrasco, L., Sura-Trueba, S., Demarchi Aiello, V., Walz, K., Neto, J. X., et al. Elevated expression of MeCP2 in cardiac and skeletal tissues is detrimental for normal development. Human Molecular Genetics, 19(11), 2177-2190. [e-publication 2010/03/06].
Back when I was going to school, I learned that on average every human being is a carrier for about 8 different genetic defects. That was a long time ago, long before many modern advances in genetics including mapping of the human genome. We now know that most people are carriers of at least 400 genetic variants, and this number is likely to increase as genetic science progresses. Continue reading
Families of children with MECP2 Duplication Syndrome and their families have banded together to raise public and professional awareness of the condition, support families, and to raise money for critical research.
Here are a few examples of recent news coverage on their activities.
Flemington tricky tray raises $11,190 for MECP2 Duplication Syndrome
Londonderry Township boy inspires ‘ultramarathon’ athlete, who raises money for van
Blake McMillan Trust receive £350 from youngsters Continue reading
The cover story in this weeks Science Translational Medicine reports on a new study that provides knowledge that is a critical first step in understanding the immune deficiency among individuals with MECP2 Duplication. Researchers found that both children and adults with the syndrome and lab mice with MECP2 Duplications lacked the ability to produce gamma interferon from specific T cells.