Omaha Public Radio News
2:22 pm
Mon October 17, 2011

UNMC is participating in clinical trials for Fragile X Syndrome

Omaha, NE – UNMC is conducting adolescent and adult clinical trials of an experimental drug for people with Fragile X Syndrome.

Dr. Mark Fleisher is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry. He is the principal investigator on the adult clinical trial. Dr. Fleisher says Fragile X may be present in either gender, but is more prevalent in males.

He says it is carried on the X chromosome of the mother. Dr. Fleisher says the condition manifests itself in symptoms such as poor social skills and physical aggression.

"The effects of that damaged chromosome will begin fairly early in life and be with you throughout your life and will have significant effects on your cognitive abilities, in that, generally, everyone has an intellectual disability."

Dr. Fleisher says researchers hope the drug will act at specific receptors on the chromosomes and modulate them so improved cognitive behavioral functioning can occur.

UNMC is one of nine sites in the US to be selected to test the drug.