The Rett Syndrome Research Foundation commits $1.3 million for 2003 research awards

The Rett Syndrome Research Foundation (RSRF) has awarded $1.3 million to fund 13 cutting edge projects seeking improved understanding of this debilitating neurological disorder diagnosed almost exclusively in little girls.

Children with Rett Syndrome (RTT) appear to develop normally until 6 to 18 months of age, when they enter a period of regression, losing speech and motor skills. Most develop repetitive hand movements, irregular breathing patterns, seizures and motor control problems. RTT leaves its victims profoundly disabled, requiring maximum assistance with every aspect of daily living.

"The $1.3 million in funding announced today is a 33 percent increase over last year's funding levels and confirms our determination to fund, promote and accelerate biomedical research for the treatment and cure of RTT," said Gordy Rich, President of RSRF. "We are enormously grateful to the thousands of generous individuals who have joined in making this research possible."

Founded in late 1999, RSRF is the world's only organization committed exclusively to advancing and supporting biomedical research for RTT. To date, RSRF has committed $4.4 million to fund 43 research projects and scientific meetings. "RSRF was established to instill a palpable sense of urgency and to accelerate the discovery of treatments and a cure for RTT. By funding top quality research and providing opportunities for investigators to brainstorm and network we are confident that a cure for RTT will be found as soon as is humanly possible. The suffering of the countless children and adults battling RTT must be eased," said Monica Coenraads, VP of Research for RSRF.

The 67 proposals received this year represent a 50 percent increase over last year's response to RSRF's Request for Proposals. This year's 13 awards encompass a wide range of research fields including biochemistry, neurobiology, genetics, physiology and clinical studies. "The 2003 round of research grant appli

Contact: Monica Coenraads
Rett Syndrome Research Foundation

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