University of Edinburgh

Project Title: The Patrick Wild Centre for Research into Autism, Fragile X Syndrome and Intellectual Disabilities

Our funding supports a group of fundamental researchers and scientifically trained doctors based at the University of Edinburgh who work to improve the understanding of autism spectrum disorders, fragile X syndrome and intellectual disabilities.

“Neurodevelopmental disorders such as Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intellectual disability affect more than 100 million people worldwide. They cause a wide range of difficulties with learning, as well as social, language, attention, emotional and behaviourial problems. Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common known cause of inherited learning disability.

The Patrick Wild Centre’s mission is to understand the neurological basis of and to test new therapies for autism spectrum disorders, fragile X syndrome and intellectual disabilities.

We believe that if we improve our understanding of the nervous system it will lead to better treatment options for autism spectrum disorder, fragile X syndrome and intellectual disabilities. To that end, we study early development, genetics, informatics, neural control systems, neuronal development & plasticity, preclinical imaging and stem cell biology.

Our work comprises fundamental laboratory-based research as well as clinical studies. We initiated the first clinical trials for fragile X syndrome and we became the coordinating site for another UK-wide clinical trial.

Another key element of our clinical research is the Fragile X Registry, which assesses families affected by the condition. The registry provides us with a bank of useful clinical information, thereby allowing our researchers to examine the relationships among biological factors and clinical manifestations.

Dr Andrew Stanfield

Co-Director of the Patrick Wild Centre, University of Edinburgh

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