SSADH Deficiency

On March 31st to April 1, 2016, the SSADH Association will be hosting a free symposium at the Boston/Cambridge Marriot in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to be sponsored by Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard University.  Attorneys Carolyn Martello Spaulding and Merrill David Blake of Blake & Associates, Boston, MA are two speakers presenting at the symposium.

SSADH deficiency is a neurotransmitter disease that leads to substantial intellectual, motor, mental health, and language disability.

The human brain contains billions of nerve cells that do not directly touch each other.  Neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers that communicate information between these nerve cells.  Neurotransmitters thus play an essential role in everyday mind and body functioning.  SSADH deficiency is just one type of neurotransmitter disease.  Many diseases, including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disease (ADHD), Depression, Altzheimer’s/Dementia, Schizophrenia, Autism, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Parkinson’s disease are associated with deficits in certain neurotransmitters.  

Succinic Semialdehyde Dehydrogenase (SSADH) Deficiency is an enzyme that affects levels of the neurotransmitter, GABA, in the brain.  Children and adults suffering from SSADH Deficiency may suffer from motor planning limitations, speech impairment, intellectual disability, autistic features, and neurological and behavioral issues.    

According to the SSADH Association, there are no known, established and universally accepted treatments for SSADH deficiency. Presently some research into SSADH is led by Philip Pearl of Harvard Medical School, who is also a presenter at the symposium.  Other leaders in the field will also be speaking and in attendance at the symposium

Attorney Carolyn Martello Spaulding and Attorney Merrill David Blake of Blake and Associates will also be among the speakers at the symposium.  Attorney Martello Spaulding and Attorney Blake will be speaking to the audience about Special Need TrustsGuardianships, and the ABLE Act.  

The symposium is free for attendants and is expected to be attended by a mix of family, medical students, physicians and researchers from around the world.

The event will focus on current research into treatment for SSADH, new developments, improving the diagnostic rate, patient care, empowering families to help progress awareness and research into SSAADH and building a stronger patient association.

The SSADH Association represents children and families affected by SSADH deficiency.  They are a 501 c 3 charitable organization.  For more information about SSADH or to donate please visit  

The Boston law practice of Blake Law is the result of more than 40 years of passionate advocacy for our clients and their families to ensure that those who are charged with the responsibility of caring for aging parents, spouses, the mentally ill and disabled children receive the legal services that they need.  Located in Boston’s Old City Hall, Blake Law committed to providing much needed legal services for families in crisis who have a loved one suffering from any form of diminished capacity.

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