Clinical trials and cyclic AMP in fragile X syndrome: A life journey

  • Autism Research
Speaker Elizabeth M. Berry-Kravis, M.D., Ph.D.
Rush University Medical Center
Date & Time



4:45 – 5:00 PM ET Waiting room opens

5:00 – 6:15 PM ET Talk + Q&A

Autism Research

Autism Research lectures bring together scientists and scholars to discuss diverse and important topics related to autism.

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On February 24, 2021, Elizabeth Berry-Kravis discussed refinements in clinical trial design and outcome measures that contributed to the success of a recent phase II trial for fragile X syndrome.

Her talk was part of the Simons Foundation Autism Research lecture series.

About the Lecture

Fragile X syndrome (FXS) was thought to be a model neurodevelopmental condition for the translation of mechanism-targeted treatments from basic neuroscience and animal models to affected individuals. Thus far, however, clinical trials of these approaches have failed. More recent refinements of trial designs and outcome measures have led to a successful phase II trial that targets changes in cyclic AMP (cAMP) regulation in FXS.

In this lecture, Elizabeth Berry-Kravis focused on early findings of a cAMP production deficit in cells from FXS, FMR1 gene discovery, understanding of FMRP function and identification of downstream neural changes. Learnings from resultant targeted treatment trials of disease-directed agents in FXS, which did not meet with success, and outcome measure refinement have been applied to more recent trial designs. The application of such advances has produced a successful outcome in the first trial targeting the cAMP deficit in FXS.

Inquiries: [email protected]

About the Speaker

Image of Elizabeth Berry-Kravis

Elizabeth Berry-Kravis established the Fragile X Clinic and Research Program at Rush University Medical Center in 1992, which now provides care to more than 700 individuals with FXS. She researches FXS and other neurogenetic conditions, including outcome measures, biomarkers, natural history studies and clinical trials in FXS, Phelan-McDermid syndrome, Niemann-Pick type C disease, Angelman syndrome, Rett syndrome, and Down syndrome. She has led the translational effort to develop new models for targeted treatment for FXS.

Past Lectures

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Have you ever contemplated the difference between a feeling, a thought and a memory? And how do all these things fit together in making us who we are?

Leonard Mlodinow is a theoretical physicist and best-selling author. In his latest book, “Emotional: How Feelings Shape Our Thinking,” he unpacks the role emotions play in our thinking and mental well-being.

Kelsey Martin, director of the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) and the foundation’s neuroscience collaborations, has spent much of her career as a neuroscientist seeking to understand better how experiences change brain connectivity to store long-term memories.

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Heather Mefford, M.D., Ph.D.
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David Ledbetter and Joseph Buxbaum discussed whether there are genes for which mutations confer risk specific to autism or whether these genes are really conferring general risk of disrupted brain development. The discussion was moderated by Heather Mefford.

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Federico Bolognani, Stuart Cobb, and Yael Weiss joined a panel to discuss new industry developments on the use of small molecules, gene therapy and antisense oligonucleotides as treatment approaches for autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The panel discussion was moderated by Randall Carpenter.

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