Category Archives: Science

MECP2: Big picture getting bigger

QuestionMarkIn my last post, I listed a bunch of conditions that had been linked to MECP2 levels in one way or another and suggested “the big picture” about the many roles of MeCP2 may turn out to useful to understanding the best approaches to MECP2 Duplication. After posting it, I came across another paper, “MeCP2-Related Diseases and Animal Models”  in the journal Diseases. I thought I should add this supplementary post for a few of reasons. First, this paper provides a very nice summary. Second, it adds a several other conditions to the list that covered in my last post, including rheumatoid arthritis, Huntington disease, and more varieties of cancer. Finally, it is a nice paper medically, and scientifically written but clear enough for a wider audience and it is available to the general public at no cost.

It is very early to speculate, but it is possible that finding a viable method of managing MeCP2 levels may become an important quest, not only for researchers looking for a way to help not only those with MECP2 duplication syndrome (a rare disorder), but for those searching for better ways to treat much more common disorders such as cancer and arthritis. This could massively increase interest and funding for MECP2-related research.

Ezeonwuka, C.D. and  Rastegar, M. (2014). MeCP2-Related Diseases and Animal Models Diseases  2(1), 45-70; doi:10.3390/diseases2010045

 

 

MECP2: A Big but Somewhat Blurry Picture

QuestionMarkOPINION: This week Nature published a very interesting and possibly groundbreaking study on schizophrenia. It doesn’t mention MECP2 but it does talk about the role of the pruning process in the brain. The way our brains develop is by creating a bunch of new connections and then trimming away the ones that are not needed or helpful. The article suggests that schizophrenia develops when the pruning process goes too far in some parts of the brain.  This is also consistent in some earlier reports that did suggest that certain defects in MECP2 were implicated in early onset schizophrenia.

Too much or too little MeCP2 activity has also been connected to a number of other conditions, such as Continue reading

Zoghbi Lab Reversal Study

News icon25 November 2015 Today’s publication in Nature:

Yehezkel Sztainberg, Hong-mei Chen, John W. Swann, Shuang Hao, Bin Tang, Zhenyu Wu, Jianrong Tang, Ying-Wooi Wan, Zhandong Liu, Frank Rigo & Huda Y. Zoghbi (2015 November 25). Reversal of phenotypes in MECP2 duplication mice using genetic rescue or antisense oligonucleotides. Nature doi:10.1038/nature1615

Dr Zoghbi explains what they have accomplished in this video from the 401 project. Video created by Joseph Mendoza.

The  article in Nature is what families have long been waiting and hoping for. Continue reading

The Natural History Study

strFamilies of children and adults with MECP2 duplication syndrome should register with the Rett Consortium studying Rett Syndrome, MECP2 Duplication Syndrome, and Rett-Related Disorders. Registration is quick and easy… and you can REGISTER ON-LINE HERE.

More details are also available on that page, but here are some good reasons to register for this project:

  1. Signing up with the contact registry ensures that you will be kept informed of the latest developments.
  2. By participating in research that can help all affected children, families support research efforts that have the potential to help us all.
  3. Signing up for the contact registry does not obligate families to visit the research sites or participate in studies, you can determine whether or how you want to participate later,
  4. Registering with the project lets the researchers know that families care about their efforts and that research on individuals with MECP2 Duplication Syndrome is possible in spite of the small number of affected individuals.
  5. Registering helps researchers recognize where potential research participants are located and may make possible participation at new locations in the future.

Early Results of Epidiolex CBD Studies are Encouraging

CAUTION2 Some very encouraging news. Researchers at at New York University’s Langone Medical Center have reported results from clinical trials of Epidiolex, a pharmaceutical preparartion of CBD Cannabidiol. The study was structured to determine if the medication was safe, not to measure effectiveness as a an anticonvulsant. Nevertheless, 80% of the participants in the study decreases in seizure activity and on average. The average result for participants was a 54% reduction in seizures after 12 weeks of treatment. Additional clinical trials are still in progress. Continue reading

Encouraging News about NNZ-2566

CAUTION2 NEW3About two and half years ago, back in May 2013, this blog reported that an experimental drug NNZ-2566 might be useful for protecting the brains of individuals with MECP2 duplication syndrome. Now there has been encouraging news from clinical trials using this drug with individuals with Rett syndrome.

In 2013, there was more encouraging news suggesting that soldiers who sustained head injuries might have fewer lasting symptoms of traumatic brain injury. Continue reading

Recent Study on Seizures and MECP2 Duplication Syndrome

NEW3A pre-publication manuscript of a recent study provides some more information on seizure disorders in MECP2 Duplication syndrome.

This research is very consistent with the parent survey results previously reported on this blog site on March 27, 2012. However, the study also includes information on brain electrical activity. Unfortunately, it suggests that seizures in individuals with MECP2 Duplication Syndrome are associated with different patterns of electrical activity in different individuals, which may mean no single approach to treatment is likely to be successful for all individuals with the syndrome. Continue reading

Parent Survey on the Use of Cannabidiol in Intractable Epilepsy

NEW3While there  has been a lot of popular discussion of treating seizures with Cannabidiol, there have been few published studies of the results in children with seizure disorders. A study published in December 2013 in the journal Epilepsy and Behavior provides some encouraging information. While the study only surveyed a small number of participants and depended on parent perceptions rather than objectively measured data, the results were positive. Continue reading

Regression: Is it inevitable?

strEarlier this year a brief article was published on regression in MECP2 Duplication Syndrome in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

 Peters, S.U., Hundley, R.J., Wilson, A.K., Carvalho, C.M.B.,  Lupski, J.R., & Ramocki, M.B. (2013). Brief Report: Regression Timing and Associated Features in MECP2 Duplication Syndrome. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, Published online, 2 March 2013. Continue reading

MECP2 Duplication Syndrome Conference Poll

RETT Syndrome Conference

26 -29 June 2014

Washington, DC, USA

Many families of individuals with MECP2 Duplication Syndrome have received a poll from Pam Albert regarding the possibility of having a MECP2 Duplication Syndrome Conference in conjunction with the Rett Syndrome Conference in June of 2014. If you did not receive this survey and would consider attending such a conference, please fill out the following survey. We need your input to determine if we can make this work.

Please respond to this poll below only if you have not already responded to the poll by e-mail. Continue reading