Angelman Updates with Dr. Terry Jo Bichell, featuring Dr. Art Beaudet
In this episode of Angelman Updates with Dr. Terry Jo Bichell, Dr. Art Beaudet discusses his work in the field of Angelman syndrome. Dr. Beaudet shares his journey in discovering the UBE3A gene, which is mutated in Angelman syndrome, and his research on turning on the paternal copy of the gene as a potential treatment. He also discusses the potential of CRISPR technology and other treatments for Angelman syndrome. Dr. Beaudet emphasizes the importance of early intervention and the potential for significant improvements in speech and communication. He also mentions his current work in developing a noninvasive prenatal test for detecting chromosome abnormalities. Overall, Dr. Beaudet’s work offers hope for families affected by Angelman syndrome and highlights the progress being made in the field.
In this edition of Angelman Updates, Dr. Terry Jo Bichell interviews Dr. Art Beaudet, a renowned scientist and clinician in the field of Angelman syndrome. Dr. Beaudet shares his insights and experiences in the study of Angelman syndrome and discusses potential treatments for the disorder.
Dr. Art Beaudet is a neuroscientist and geneticist who has dedicated his career to understanding genetic disorders, particularly those involving genomic imprinting. He became interested in Angelman syndrome and Prader-Willi syndrome, two disorders known to involve genomic imprinting, during his research in the 80s. Dr. Beaudet’s lab played a crucial role in identifying the UBE3A gene as the cause of Angelman syndrome.
Discovering the Angelman Gene
Dr. Beaudet’s lab, along with another competing lab, identified the UBE3A gene as the gene mutated in Angelman syndrome in 1996. This discovery was a significant breakthrough in understanding the disorder and opened up possibilities for potential treatments.
Turning on the Father’s Copy of the Gene
Dr. Beaudet and his colleagues explored the idea of turning on the father’s copy of the UBE3A gene as a potential treatment for Angelman syndrome. Through their research, they found that certain drugs and modifications to RNA could activate the paternal copy of the gene. This approach showed promising results in preclinical studies and led to the development of clinical trials.
The Potential for Treatment
Dr. Beaudet acknowledges that early intervention is crucial for the success of treatments. However, he believes that even older individuals with Angelman syndrome may benefit from therapies that activate the paternal copy of the UBE3A gene. While the full extent of the benefits is still unknown, there have been reports of patients using words for the first time after receiving treatment.
Other Potential Treatments
Dr. Beaudet discusses the potential of using CRISPR technology to treat Angelman syndrome. CRISPR allows for precise genetic manipulation and correction of small mutations. This approach could provide a more complete correction of the UBE3A gene and potentially improve outcomes for patients with point mutations or imprinting defects.
The Impact of Dr. Beaudet’s Work
Dr. Beaudet’s contributions to the field of genetics and neurodevelopmental disorders have been significant. His work in identifying the UBE3A gene and exploring potential treatments for Angelman syndrome has paved the way for further research and clinical trials. He has also been involved in developing noninvasive genetic testing methods for detecting chromosomal abnormalities in fetuses.
Dr. Beaudet expresses his appreciation for the families affected by Angelman syndrome and acknowledges the immense burden they face. He emphasizes the importance of early diagnosis and treatment and believes that Angelman syndrome offers more hope for potential treatments compared to other childhood neurological disorders.
Dr. Art Beaudet’s groundbreaking research and dedication to understanding Angelman syndrome have had a profound impact on the field. His work in identifying the UBE3A gene and exploring potential treatments has opened up new possibilities for individuals and families affected by Angelman syndrome. With ongoing clinical trials and advancements in genetic therapies, there is hope for improved outcomes and potential cures for this neurodevelopmental disorder.
- Title: Angelman Updates with Dr. Terry Jo Bichell, featuring Dr. Art Beaudet
- Author(s): Art Beaudet
- Author(s)’ affiliation: Luna Genetics
- Publication date: 2021-07-09
- Collection: Angelman Updates with Dr. Terry Jo Bichell