To serve, educate and fund research for families coping with the effects of SYNGAP mutations.
WHO WE ARE
Bridge the Gap – Syngap ERF began in September of 2014. A group of parents of children living with SYNGAP1 mutations came together to begin a new journey. The common bond is one driven by a desire to raise awareness and search out treatments to improve quality of life for these inspiring individuals.
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Local scientists at Scripps Research in Jupiter found a genetic explanation as to why some children suffer from sensory processing issues.
CBS12 News found out how researchers got to this point.
“He was my motivation to find help for him because there was nothing out there for him,” Monica Weldon said.
Weldon’s 10-year-old son, Beckett, has a rare mutation in the SYNGAP1 gene, which hinders healthy brain development.
She said one of the most concerning symptoms is his incredibly high pain tolerance.
Weldon showed CBS12 News a video of Beckett letting his puppy bite on his hand until he bled.
“I ended up sending the video to Dr. Gavin Rumbaugh and said tell me what’s going on in his brain if you can of why these kids are not responding to pain,” Weldon said.
Dr. Rumbaugh with Scripps Research in Jupiter figured out what was behind Beckett’s unusual sensory processing issues.
Rumbaugh and his team conducted tests with mice to see how the gene directly affects sensory processing. He said what the discovery could change lives.
“Because we know the way the brain function is disrupted, now we can think about creating drugs that could fix the way that part of the brain functions. And now that we have this, we can go test it in other types of autism to see if this a common mechanism that might be able to help other people,” he said.
Something Weldon keeps hoping for.
“I do believe we are going to find something and this is a mom gut but I know we are going to find something and it’s not just going to help us it’s going to help others,” she said.
Rumbaugh said they are currently developing molecule screening and hope to start screening individuals sometime next year.
Scripps Research Institute researches genetic link for some children’s autism symptoms
JUPITER, Fla. – Groundbreaking research out of the Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter found a genetic explanation for the pain processing and sensory issues some children living with autism face.
“To see the biology in the lab turn out that has parallels to what’s going on in these children takes it so far beyond just an academic endeavor,” said Dr. Gavin Rumbaugh, a neuroscientist at Scripps. “You go home every day thinking, unbelievably, I may actually be making a difference in someone’s life.”
One of those children who Rumbaugh hopes to help with his research is 10-year-old Beckett, who lives in Texas.
“We wanted to understand generally in the lab how genes like SYNGAP1 affect the way the brain functions and we thought what better way was then to look and see how this gene may directly affect sensory processing and then further on ask the question does the change in sensory processing actually lead directly to learning, memory and behavioral impairment,” he said.
Beckett has a genetic mutation of SYNGAP1, which researchers have now found causes certain issues he faces, particularly, having an extremely high pain threshold, while also experiencing heightened sensitivity to another kind of stimuli. Beckett and other children living with this genetic mutation also often have epilepsy.
“It’s all about quality of life. Everybody deserves to live their best life and that’s my mission,” said Monica Weldon, Beckett’s mom.
Weldon said the research being done in Jupiter could change her son’s life and the lives of hundreds of other children around the world whose families she’s connected with online with the same genetic abnormality and symptoms.
“That is the power I believe of a patient group that is motivated to find treatments for their loved ones,” Weldon said. “Also, you’ve got scientists who are listening. They’re willing to listen and they’re willing to learn.”
The next step in Rumbaugh’s research is to look at treating the symptoms from the genetic mutation.
Black Horse Golf Club
April 4, 2019
*Registration 7:00 am
*Putting Contest 7:30 am
*Shotgun Start 8:00 am
*Lunch 12:00 pm
*Silent Auction 12-2:00 pm
*Team (4) $650
*Team (4) w/Hole $775
Entry Fee Includes:
Driving Range, Carts & Green Fees,
Breakfast, Lunch, Door Prizes,
Award Ceremony, Gift Bags, Beer,
Soda, and Water on Course
Your generous contribution will be used for life-changing programs that will benefit children with rare diseases. Our international outreach for SYNGAP1 children gathers critical information, which is needed to drive research towards more immediate therapeutic solutions.
We invite You to join us as a sponsor for this event by choosing from one of our “Sponsorship Opportunity Levels” ($200- $7,500) and/or supporting us through donations of various prizes and silent auction items.
By being a sponsor you will be promoting your company to a group of people who are very loyal to its sponsors, as well as to the many professionals who will be participating at the golf tournament itself. Companies like yours make available the resources that enrich our education and research programs and we are forever grateful.
We are anticipating a highly successful and well-attended Golf Classic Tournament. Show Bridge the Gap – SYNGAP Education and Research Foundation’s friends, neighbors, and colleagues your company’s commitment to finding better treatments and therapies for our children suffering from the debilitating effects of SYNGAP1 mutations.