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Research & Surveys

Arthrogryposis is not very well known among health professionals or the general public.

Thankfully various medical and support organisations are becoming aware and are including Arthrogryposis in their research. Some are big research projects others small calls for ideas. They need your help - since you are the experts!  Please get involved in research or surveys (mostly on-line) so your experience can help us all.



Freeman-Sheldon Syndrome
(Distal Arthrogryposis Type 2A)

Genetic Alliance UK are asking for your help with a survey. Read more about it and link to the on-line survey on our News page >>

Research into wheelchair users

Anthony Myers, a Masters Student in Psychology at the University of East London, is undertaking a research project that aims to explore how social support impacts wheelchair users and to see if there is a difference between individuals who have a congenital condition compared to ones who acquired a condition later in life. Also, to investigate the role of anxiety, stress, depression and self-efficacy in relation to social support.

Anthony is an electric wheelchair user and has arthrogryposis, so has first-hand experience of what it is like to use a wheelchair and understands the importance of receiving social support in daily life. This research is unique and could create some interesting findings. In addition, it could inform the design and implementation of new schemes and structures that directly enhance the lives of wheelchair users.

The hope is to recruit a significant number of people (>100) who are wheelchair users. The study is quite simple. It only involves online completion of a questionnaire. This consists of questions that are relevant to the intended investigation.
The completion of the questionnaire should take approximately 20 minutes. It is anonymous and all data will remain confidential.

Go to the on-line survey >>


OT at Manchester Children’s hospital needs help

Paula Galloway is OT working at Manchester Children’s hospital with children and young people who have brittle bones. She is looking at toileting and the issues around having shortened upper limbs.  She wrote to TAG: "I know you’re specialist in arthrogryposis but there may be something to learn from your experience. It seems manageable at home if we can get self-cleaning toilets but for out of the home it is proving more difficult.  Any advice in your experience would be gratefully received or any useful contacts."

If you have any ideas, suggestions, experience to share please contact Paula at

Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9WL


Phone 0161 7012640

(Please note working days are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 8.30-4.30)


Arthrogryposis is being included in more research by NIHR Bioresource

The Birmingham Childrens Hospital Arthrogryposis Team and The Arthrogryposis Group along with the teams at Newcastle, Manchester and GOSH, presented a proposal to NIHR Bioresource - Rare Diseases to collect information and blood samples on all patients with Arthrogryposis who are prepared to volunteer. Our proposal has been accepted and Arthrogryposis will be one of the first rare diseases to be studied in this way.

The NIHR BioResource – Rare Diseases ( has been established to identify genetic causes of rare diseases, improve rates of diagnosis and to enable studies to develop and validate treatments; thus improving care for those with rare diseases and their families

The project to collect blood samples and information from volunteer patients with Arthrogryposis will start at Birmingham Childrens Hospital, hopefully in a few months, and then be rolled out to other participating centres across the UK.

So, be prepared to be invited to join this study at your clinic appointment…...

This will be a very exciting opportunity to develop research projects from this database and also to encourage early appropriate referrals to the centres who specialise in managing the condition.


 Genetic Alliance UK Survey

Genetic Alliance UK is doing a piece of work relevant to you, and hope the Arthrogryposis Group might like to be involved.  Leter from Louise Coleman at Genetic Alliance UK explains:

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has received an application to licence preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) for distal arthrogryposis multiplex congenita type 2B, also known as Sheldon-Hall syndrome. This means that a couple in the UK with a family history of the condition have applied to use PGD to conceive a child who would be free from the disease. You can find out more about the reproductive technique, preimplantation genetic diagnosis, here, and the HFEA call for information on this condition here.

When the HFEA committee makes a decision on whether to licence PGD they make this decision based on whether they think that the condition is ‘sufficiently serious’. We provide statements to the HFEA detailing the effects on an individual from the perspective of patients (rather than the clinical aspects of a condition). To fairly represent the ways that some patients could be affected by the condition, we outline the worst case scenario for those affected.

We hope to provide some patient voice on the issue, and to aid us in this work have developed a survey which we would be really grateful if you could fill in. If you feel it is appropriate we would also encourage you to disseminate the survey to patients with the condition (and their families and carers). We feel that it is really important for patients to have a voice in the process of licensing for this reproductive technique, and your input would be invaluable in this.

"The answers from the survey will be used to develop a statement detailing the way that the condition affects those who have the condition from a social and psychosocial point of view. This would then be submitted as evidence to be considered by the licensing committee at the HFEA. We would, of course, be happy to submit this jointly with your organisation. Here is a link to the survey >>.

Please let me know if you have any questions.



Louise Coleman | Policy Analyst
Genetic Alliance UK, CAN Mezzanine, 49-51 East Road, London, N1 6AH
T:  +44 (0)20 7831 0883