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Conference on Fragile X syndrome held in Kolkata

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It aimed to build awareness on Fragile X Syndrome

Mental Health Foundation, Kolkata, in association with Ummeed Child Development Centre, Mumbai and The Fragile X Society, India jointly held a conference on Fragile X awareness in Kolkata, recently. Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) is the most common known single gene cause of autism or ‘autistic-like’ behaviour. FXS is a genetic condition that causes intellectual disability, behavioural and learning challenges and various physical characteristics. Though FXS occurs in both genders, males are more frequently affected than females, and generally with greater severity. It affects approximately one in 2,500 males and one in 5,000 females, with one in 250 women and one in 800 men being carriers of the syndrome.

Present at the occasion were Dr Jai Ranjan Ram, Founder Mental Health Foundation, Kolkata, Dr Vibha Krishnamurthy, founder and Executive Director of Ummeed Child Development Center (Mumbai), Dr Roopa Srinivasan, Head of Clinical Services, Ummeed Child Development Center and Shalini Kedia, Chairperson Fragile X Society, India

Sharing his thoughts, Dr Ram said, “The purpose of the conference is to bring awareness of the Fragile X syndrome to all medical professionals, special educators, therapists, counsellors, families and government representatives in Kolkata and Eastern India and to inform why, when, how to diagnose the same and the way forward through a comprehensive agenda which covers in details all aspects related to the syndrome”. Dr Krishnamurthy stressed on the need for proper diagnosis and the importance of early intervention so as to enable the affected children and adults to cope with daily challenges. She explained the link between genes, Fragile X, autism and learning disabilities and different manifestations of the syndrome. Dr Srinivasan reiterated the importance of sensory integration, through occupational therapy, yoga, meditation and behavioural intervention. Kedia elaborated on parent support in India and abroad and how the Society is trying to bring awareness across the country.

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