Sunday, December 21, 2008

Arkansas WS Boy Gets Free Shopping Trip :: Northwest Arkansas' News Source:

"Anthony has some obstacles to overcome should he ever become a cop. He was born with Williams Syndrome, a genetic condition that includes problems and abnormalities throughout his body.

With Anthony, the shopping trip was going to be a bit of a show, and any officer with him was going to be entertained. Rumor had it several officers had their fingers crossed they would be with Anthony. Weimer didn't say much about his pairing; mostly he just smiled.

Anthony entertained the salespeople, singing happy birthday to one who was 'just a little bit older than 14,' and introducing himself to almost everyone he met, except for the ones he already knew from last year, who he addressed like old friends."

Friday, December 19, 2008

How genes can contribute to hypersocial behavior in people with Williams Syndrome

How genes can contribute to hypersocial behavior « Biomarker-driven mental health 2.0:

"In their current paper, Sarpal and colleagues measured brain activity as well as correlations of activity (connectivity) between brain regions as patients with WS passively viewed visual objects (faces and houses). They report that connections from early visual processing areas (fusiform and parahippocampal gyrus) in WS are actually weaker to the frontal cortex and amygdala. Since activation of the frontal cortex and amygdala are associated with inhibition and fear, it may be case that the weaker connections from early visual areas to these regions gives rise to the type of gregarious and prosocial (a lack of fear and inhibition) behavior seen in WS. In further pinpointing where in the brain the genes for WS might be causing a developmental change, the authors point to the ventral lip of the collateral sulcus, an area situated between the fusiform and parahippocampal gyri. This may be the spot to more closely examine the role of genes such as LIMK1 - a gene that participates in the function of the actin cytoskeleton (an important process in synaptic formation)."

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The part-time parents who help struggling families to cope with a labour of love - Times Online

Times charity: Action for Children: The part-time parents who help struggling families to cope with a labour of love - Times Online:

"This is where Action for Children, a charity being supported by The Times Christmas Appeal, comes in. In one of many shared-care schemes that the charity operates throughout Britain, David and Wendy West, from Oakdale, near Blackwood, South Wales, now look after Dion for a weekend every fortnight, offering Ms Evans a respite from the demands of his constant care. “He just becomes part of the family every other weekend,” Mrs West, who has two daughters of her own, said. “We go walking the dogs, to the cinema, out for a picnic or to church on a Sunday. Whatever we are doing, he fits in.”

Having looked after Dion for seven years, the Wests are familiar with his medication and dietary needs, much of which fills the little Spider-Man suitcase that he brings with him when he comes to stay. They became interested in shared care as a less committed option after considering long-term fostering, and now look after Sian, an 18-year-old girl with Williams syndrome, a rare condition that results in learning and developmental problems."

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Clare's Journey: Reality

Clare's Journey: Reality:

"I don't know if Clare realizes yet how she is different from other children. But I do, and it hurts."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

SpringerLink - Journal Article

SpringerLink - Journal Article:

"In conclusion, our data represent the largest collection of individuals with Williams syndrome who underwent cardiac catheterization and/or operation. The data suggest that children with Williams syndrome and bilateral outflow tract obstruction have statistically and clinically significantly higher mortality associated with catheterization or operation."