April 17, 2009

Genetics, assistive technology & May travel

This morning, Dr. Vandana Shashi, the geneticist from Duke University, called me. She, being the amazing doctor that she is, presented Bertrand's case to the entire genetics section at Duke! She was able to use the video that Dr. Eddie Smith (neurology) took to showcase Bertrand's movements and features. They are still befuddled but, as a team, they came up with some other tests they'd like to have run for Bertrand's spinal tap next Monday. Here is the email she wrote to Dr. Longo aftee speaking with me.

Dear Dr. Longo,
I am the medical geneticist who saw Bertrand Might last week. Your note on him was very helpful. As you know, it has been a challenge to find a unifying diagnosis for his features despite so many people thinking about him. I hope you don't mind me doing this, but I have a list of tests below that may be helpful. We have met here as a group after evaluating Bertrand and had some suggestions for further testing. Some of these can be done in a stepwise fashion, if the ones pending now are negative, but as you may agree, for CSF studies it would make sense to do all at the same time. I have listed the suggestions below, with the understanding that you may have thought of these already.
  1. CSF studies- in addition to the neurotransmitters, get amino acids (simultaneous plasma AA), glucose (plasma as well), lactate.
  2. Skin biopsy- send out for mitochondrial panel (Baylor)
  3. DNA for Batten's disease (NCL)
  4. Blood for mass spectrometry for the carbohydrate deficient glycoprotein disorders (Greenwood)
  5. Urine creatine
  6. MECP2 sequencing if microarray is normal
  7. Urine polyol
  8. Chromosome breakage studies
His mother told me that Allgrove syndrome and Menkes are being considered as well.
Please let me know if I can do anything else.

This afternoon, Bertrand and I went to The Utah Center for Assistive Technology (UCAT). At UCAT, Bertrand was evaluated by Scott. We tried a bunch of switches, switch adapted toys, and other goodies. Bertrand was not in the most receptive mood (he was pooping), so we'll try to go back sometime next week with Matthew. This is really Matthew's area. A lot of the programs and toys are so simple, it may be cheaper (and more fun) to rig things ourselves.

In our very first apartment, over 6 years ago, Matthew used X-10 to wire everything from the lights to the tv, stereo, coffee pot... you name it. We could turn it all on or off remotely--via web. At the time, I rolled my eyes. Now, we have to do it again, but for Bertrand, so the project will include placing mounted wireless switches in his crib, play areas, and eventually his gait trainer. I think Bertrand's daddy, grandfathers and uncles will have a blast with this!

At UCAT, I was fortunate enough to find out from Scott that there is a new cyber Pre-K in Utah! I gave him my email so I could get more information. I just love the cyber school concept. I'd been introduced to K12 before, and think it'd be a perfect fit for a special needs child like B. Since they have open enrollment here, I am going to see about putting him on the waiting list now, so, if he makes it to age 3, he could attend the cyber Pre-K.

Lastly, I finalized some of the dates we'd be visiting our family in Georgia. We'll be in the peach state from May 7 through the 17th to attend Bertrand's Uncle Booj's commissioning ceremony. Mother's Day will be spent at St. George Village with B's great grandparents, Bud and Rosina. We'll also be spending some time in the Blairsville area riding trains and playing with friends and cousins on Lake Nottley. Maybe we'll even swing by Augusta--who knows? :)

1 comment :

  1. really?! blairsville? please let me know when you'll be here, and when would be convenient to meet up. :)