On the occation of Rare Disease Day last year we published 29 #BOSFACTS. A year has past and these facts about Bohring-Opitz Syndrome are still up to date. The Rare Disease Day slogan is this year ‘With research, possibilities are limitless’. Let’s go for it!
#BOSFACT 1 RARE
Bohring-Opitz Syndrome is RARE – fewer than 60 children are published in medical articles since 1999. The largest number of children live in USA and UK, in other countries there are just 1-3 children diagnosed with Bohring-Opitz Syndrome.
#BOSFACT 2 INTERNATIONAL
Bohring-Opitz Syndrome knows no borders. Children with BOS lives around the world in 28 countries and speak many languages.
#BOSFACT 3 NAME
Bohring-Opitz Syndrome owes its NAME to the geneticists Axel Bohring and John M. Opitz. The terms ‘Bohring’, ‘Bohring-Opitz’ and ‘C-like syndrome’ have all been used to describe this condition. Because Frank Oberklaid reported another case there is also the name ‘Oberklaid-Danks-Syndrome’ for ‘Bohring-Opitz-Syndrome’.
#BOSFACT 4 PUBLICATIONS
Since 1969 there have been 27 PUBLICATIONS on Bohring-Opitz Syndrome. Two articles are milestones in the medical history of BOS: 2011 the discovery of one genetic cause by Alexander Hoischen and 2015 the article of Bianca Russell who first presented treatments.
#BOSFACT 5 GENETIC CAUSE
Prior to 2011, geneticists relied on making a clinical diagnosis by recognizing the distinguishable physical characteristics in the appearance of their patients. In 2011, researchers at the Radboud University Nijmegen medical center used “next generation sequencing” to find the novo mutation in the ASXL1 gene as one GENETIC CAUSE of Bohring-Opitz Syndrome.
#BOSFACT 6 HETEROGENEOUS
BOS is genetically HETEROGENEOUS, meaning there must be at least one other cause of BOS. Because other children with a clinical diagnosis of BOS didn’t have this mutation, this indicates that other genes may be involved in this syndrome or that a somatic mosaicism should be considered as cause in patients with a typical phenotype and no detectable mutation.
#BOSFACT 7 TREATMENT
2015 Bianca Russell and colleagues published an article about Bohring-Opitz Syndrome. Beside the presenting of eight new patients, in this article TREATMENT options were discussed for the first time and the authors suggests certain patients with Bohring–Opitz syndrome should be monitored for Wilms tumors.
#BOSFACT 8 RESEARCH
Researchers around the world are working hard for a better understanding of Bohring-Opitz Syndrome. Investigations like the ongoing sequencing campaign in Spain, RESEARCH on “mouse models” and a German study of the mechanism of ASXL1 gene in human stem cells brings us a step further that one day these knowledge will results in therapies for BOS children.
#BOSFACT 9 SUPPORT
This year our Support group on Facebook is 5 years old. The group was started on April 6th 2011 just with a few families. Now there are almost 100 families of children with BOS united. This group offers so much SUPPORT and all the parents and caregivers there are amazing by helping each other. They all make these group so successful.
#BOSFACT 10 ANGELS
BOS children are ANGELS. Many children have passed away far too early. Bohring-Opitz Syndrome is a life limiting genetic condition with a high infant mortality.
#BOSFACT 11 HOPE
There is HOPE – Bohring-Opitz Syndrome is not as severe in all cases than originally foreseen, children could even reach adulthood. When the novo mutation on the ASXL1 gene were discovered, many children have finally gotten the diagnosis at a later age by WES (Whole Exome Sequencing).
#BOSFACT 12 ENGAGED
Parents around the world are pretty much ENGAGED by sharing their experiences in raising a child with Bohring-Opitz Syndrome. There are stories about partnering with doctors, finding helpful resources, and seeking answers… but mostly there are stories of persistence and strength and hope.
#BOSFACT 13 HAPPINESS
Children with Bohring-Opitz syndrome loves to play with shiny and sparkling objects. They love music and can’t get enough cuddles.
#BOSFACT 14 EMOTION
BOS kids feel like us: they have the same EMOTIONS. They are frightened, feel anger and pain. They have joy and happiness.
#BOSFACT 15 STRONG
BOS kids are vulnerable but also incredibly STRONG and brave.
#BOSFACT 16 DEVELOPMENT
Many children are diagnosed with ACC (Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum), a congenital (lifelong) brain abnormality. Common characteristics associated with ACC like vision and hearing impairments, low muscle tone, feeding and sleep difficulties, seizures, to name but a few, affect the DEVELOPMENT in different. But children with Bohring-Opitz Syndrome develop, they learn at their own pace.
#BOSFACT 17 INDIVIDUAL
Although children with Bohring-Opitz Syndrome looks very alike at birth, they are all INDIVIDUALS. Every child is unique and there are different levels and degrees of symptoms. Knowing one child with BOS, does not mean that all BOS children are the same. They are all individuals, regardless whether they have the same mutation on the ASXL1 gene.
#BOSFACT 18 BEAUTIFUL
Children with Bohring-Opitz Syndrome are BEAUTIFUL!
#BOSFACT 19 RESPECT
The word “retarded” is offensive, it hurts. Children with Bohring-Opitz syndrome deserve RESPECT.
#BOSFACT 20 WILLING
There was a time when parents were encouraged to send their BOS babies to mental institutions. What you see now is the hard work and determination of parents WILLING to fight the battle for their children, and for the many that have followed.
#BOSFACT 21 MEANING
Bohring-Opitz Syndrome is much more than just a medical diagnosis, a child with or without BOS has a MEANING, they are valuable!
#BOSFACT 22 DOCUMENTARY
The premiere of the DOCUMENTARY Kuluut will be coming soon. Kuluut is a documentary about Coen and his family. Coen is 4 years old and has Bohring-Opitz Syndrome. This film is about happiness and strength!
#BOSFACT 23 FOUNDATION
Established in 2015 by Carrie Hunsucker and Taylor Gurganus, the Bohring-Opitz Syndrome Foundation, Inc.- a 501c3 non-profit organization- is dedicated to improving the lives of people affected by BOS through the establishment of a medical advisory board, awareness Initiatives, and parent/patient advocacy.
#BOSFACT 24 EQUAL
The number of boys vs girls having Bohring-Opitz Syndrome is EQUAL. According to our knowledge there is no indication that Bohring-Opitz Syndrome is related to gender.
#BOSFACT 25 CHALLENGING
The list of ailments and physical characteristics associated with Bohring-Opitz Syndrome is long but some main health problems like feeding difficulties and respiratory issues are common. The fact that still little is known and every child is unique makes it CHALLENGING to adapt the best treatment the child.
#BOSFACT 26 CURE
Currently, there is no CURE for Bohring-Opitz Syndrome. However, treatments may improve various symptoms and prevent complications.
#BOSFACT 27 INVOLVED
Families of children with Bohring-Opitz Syndrome are not alone. The engagement of family, friends, caregivers and medical professionals is huge! Doctors and nurses worldwide are working hard to work with us for solutions and to make life with Bohring-Opitz Syndrome better.
#BOSFACT 28 EXPERT
Parents know their child best – they become an EXPERT of their child. Together with professionals they strive to make living with Bohring-Opitz Syndrome optimal.
#BOSFACT 29 LOVE
BOS children teach us the true meaning of unconditional LOVE!