Bringing everyone to the table - Findings from the 2018 Phelan-McDermid Syndrome Foundation International Conference

Kimberly Goodspeed, Geraldine Bliss, Diane Linnehan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Phelan-McDermid Syndrome (PMS) is a rare neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by global developmental delay, autism spectrum disorder, and numerous systemic complications including seizures, gastrointestinal dysfunction, and renal anomalies. The Phelan-McDermid Syndrome Foundation (PMSF) was created to improve the quality of life of people affected by PMS worldwide by supporting families, accelerating research, and raising awareness. To further this mission, the PMSF initiated the Phelan-McPosium in 2016 to bring families affected by PMS, clinicians, and researchers together to design patient-centered rigorous clinical and translational research. Here, we present findings from the 2018 Phelan-McPosium. Results: The 2018 Phelan-McPosium was attended by 183 families and 35 researchers and clinicians. Overall, the Early Childhood parents raised the fewest number of concerns, families of Late-Childhood patients raised more concerns around epilepsy and behavioral problems, and Teen and Adult families were primarily concerned about implications of genetic testing, gastrointestinal dysfunction, and regression. All families were concerned with feasibility, safety and importance of clinical trials for PMS. Conclusions: The concerns raised by families across the sessions varied by age in a manner which may overlap with the emergence of various signs and symptoms through the natural history of PMS. The design of the Phelan-McPosium session has successfully generated thoughtful research questions that led to innovative investigations and clinical trials that are shaping the standard of care for PMS. This is an approach which could be employed by any rare disease group to align translational research efforts with a patient-centered focus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number152
JournalOrphanet Journal of Rare Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 16 2020


  • 22q13
  • Autism Spectrum disorder
  • Patient Foundation
  • Patient involvement
  • Phelan-McDermid syndrome
  • SHANK3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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