Senator Hollingsworth Authored Measure To Shed Light On The Most Common Known Inherited Cause Of Mental Impairment And Autism
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SACRAMENTO Organizations nationwide celebrated the recent chaptering of SCR 65 by the California Secretary of State today, which designates April 18 of each year as “Fragile X Awareness Day” in California. The measure was authored by state Senator Dennis Hollingsworth (R-Murrieta).
Fragile X is an inherited cause of mental impairment, and gets its name from a break or “fragile” spot on the X chromosome. One in every 260 women is a carrier of the Fragile X defect, which can cause disorders in children, such as autism and mental impairment.
The measure received support from numerous organizations, including the National Fragile X Foundation, the FRAXA Research Foundation, Fragile X Associations of Northern and Southern California, the M.I.N.D. Institute at the UC Davis Health System, the Fragile X Center of San Diego, the Laurel Ruff Center in the San Juan Unified School District and several private citizens, many of whom are parents of children with Fragile X.
“California being one of the largest states in the country, our organization has more members there than in any other state and I think growing awareness of this condition is critical to more money being allocated by the federal government for research,” said Public Policy Chairman Jeffrey Cohen of the National Fragile X Foundation. “The state of California recognizing this condition is a very important development for the community.”
Dr. Randi Hagerman, the endowed chair in Fragile X research at the M.I.N.D. Institute, said clinical research grants continually uncover new information about Fragile X and X-linked conditions.
“This awareness day is a really exciting step in educating the public as well as the medical profession,” she said. “Anybody with mental retardation or autism with an unknown cause should be tested for Fragile X. Being diagnosed with Fragile X changes the treatment of the child and further diagnosis of the family tree.”
Senator Hollingsworth said he hopes Fragile X Awareness Day brings about more public education leading to quicker diagnoses for families dealing with the disease.
“As with any disease, ignorance stifles progress and cures for people who are desperate for answers,” Hollingsworth said. “The more information that circulates in the public and the medical profession, the sooner we can get information in the hands of those who need it most.”