Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is highly heritable, but researchers don't know much about the genes that cause it. Read about the experience of a participant in a National Institutes of Health (NIH) clinical trial who is helping researchers find the contributing genes. After researchers at the National Human Genome Research Institute identify the genes, they can begin to look for new medications, new behavioral interventions or new combinations of both.
Dr. William Gahl, clinical director at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), gave the honorary Samuel Pruzansky Memorial Lecture on March 23 in Phoenix for the March of Dimes Clinical Genetics Conference. Although he's given dozens of lectures around the world about helping patients with undiagnosed diseases since establishing the Undiagnosed Diseases Program in 2008, this particular talk was truly inspirational.
Newly identified genes associated with Erdheim-Chester disease (ECD), an ultra-rare disease, are also linked to cancer, according to a new study by NHGRI researchers. Thus, ECD should be considered a type of cancer and treated by oncologists. A new clinical trial - enrolling ECD patients now - will test the use of the drugs dabrafenib and trametinib. Findings were published in Blood Advances.
Researchers with NHGRI and their collaborators have successfully used facial recognition software to diagnose DiGeorge Syndrome, a rare, genetic disease in Africans, Asians and Latin Americans. This is the newest addition to the Atlas of Human Malformations in Diverse Populations launched last year. The study was published March 23, 2017, in the American Journal of Medical Genetics.
On March 3, 2017, in honor of Rare Disease Day, experts from the Undiagnosed Diseases Network (UDN) turned to Reddit to answer questions from the Reddit community as part of an "Ask Me Anything" (AMA). These rare disease clinical and research experts have joined forces to solve the world's most challenging medical mysteries. Supported by the NIH Common Fund, UDN uses genome sequencing in the clinic, along with a network of experts, to provide answers for patients and families affected by mysterious conditions. Here's a recap of the event.
NIH and USDA researchers have developed a new technique for reconstructing highly accurate reference genomes and have applied it to the domestic goat. Accurate reference genomes are important for understanding an organism's biology, for learning about the genetic causes of health and disease and, in animals, for making breeding decisions. The study is published today, March 6, 2017, in Nature Genetics.
On February 27, several NHGRI researchers - Anastasia L. Wise, Ph.D., Shawn Burgess, Ph.D., and Brian P. Brooks, M.D., Ph.D.- will highlight rare disease research that could benefit affected patients, but also provide insight into more common disorders. They will underline this important relationship in advance of Rare Disease Day at NIH, a day-long symposium that is part of a global effort to raise awareness of rare diseases.
Newly identified genes and genetic pathways in primary melanoma - a type of skin cancer - could give researchers new targets for developing new personalized treatments for melanoma, and potentially other cancers. Learning how the genes are expressed - turned on or off - could be used in the future to predict how and when the cancer cells will spread to other parts of the body and how fast they will grow. Read the study in the February 6, 2017, online issue of Pigment Cell and Melanoma Research
Last Updated: April 4, 2017