TGen researcher explores latest findings about children born with limited mobility

Dr. Lisa Baumbach-Reardon, an Associate Professor at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), will lead a panel discussion about Arthrogryposis (ARGY) today at the 2013 American College of Medical Genetics (ACMG) Annual Clinical Genetics Meeting.

Arthrogryposis is a complex congenital disorder associated with stunted muscular development. It is characterized by multiple contractures, stiff joints and limited movement in multiple parts of the body, usually in the arms and legs. It occurs in nearly 1 in every 3,000 births, and children are often born with the condition with no pre-birth indications.

"This is an area of medical study ripe for new genomic investigations," said Dr. Baumbach-Reardon, who is one of the co-monitors of the conference session, Advances in Classification: Genetic Diagnosis and Understanding of Arthrogryposis and Related Fetal Movement Disorders.

The session, scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 20, at the Phoenix Convention Center, will focus on recent advances in clinical classification, genetic causes and the underlying biology of ARGY.

"Arthrogryposis is not a diagnosis, but a sign," said Dr. Judith Hall of the University of British Columbia Medical School, the other co-monitor of the panel and a former President of the American Society of Human Genetics. Treatment of Arthrogryposis should begin as soon as 6-8 weeks after conception, said Dr. Hall, yet nearly 75 percent of children with the condition remain undiagnosed prior to birth.

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