MIR-Led Wolfram Syndrome Research, Clinic Receives $3M Grant

Neurologist Amy Viehoever, MD, tests the balance and coordination of patient Caitlin Fess during a clinic for Wolfram syndrome patients.

Researchers at Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology (MIR) and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have received a five-year, $3 million grant to study Wolfram syndrome and help fund the continuation of a summer clinic for patients from around the world. Wolfram syndrome is a rare genetic disorder that causes neurologic problems, insulin-dependent diabetes and other serious conditions caused by mutations in a single gene, affecting about one in every 500,000 people.

Tamara G. Hershey, PhD, the James S. McDonnell Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience and a professor of radiology and psychiatry, is the study’s principal investigator. Her research suggests it may be easier to identify some of the earliest signs of the syndrome with neurologic testing. In funding the clinic, Hershey said the new grant will help researchers learn how the disorder develops and progresses in most patients.

Learn more from the School of Medicine.