For 12 years, Jesse Simon lived with a genetic disorder that puzzled doctors. Jesse, now 15, is one of 500 individuals worldwide diagnosed with Pitt Hopkins syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that affects development, intellect and speech. Since coming to MassGeneral Hospital for Children, Jesse has learned to thrive in many aspects of his life.
Pitt Hopkins Clinic
Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care
32 Fruit Street, Suite 6C
Boston, MA 02114
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Care During COVID-19
Our dedicated physicians, nurses and staff are committed to providing the best possible care for children. We have taken unprecedented steps to ensure office visits and procedures are welcoming and safe. Your child’s health and safety is our top priority. Learn more.
Pitt Hopkins Syndrome (PTHS) is a rare genetic disorder characterized by intellectual disability, developmental delay, breathing problems, seizures, and distinctive facial features.
The Pitt Hopkins Clinic at MassGeneral Hospital for Children provides comprehensive clinical care to individuals with Pitt Hopkins. With the ultimate goal of improving quality of life for our patients, the clinic delivers "one-stop-shopping" access to a wide range of specialists who work together to evaluate and treat the most common problems encountered in Pitt Hopkins Syndrome.
Multiple specialists at the clinic see children and young adults with Pitt Hopkins in a coordinated visit and we follow our patients over years with the goal of improving their day-to-day lives and providing treatment long-term health issues.
At your child’s first visit to the clinic, he or she will be seen by Co-Directors David Sweetser, MD, PhD, and Ron Thibert, DO, MsPH, for an in-depth assessment including physical and behavioral examinations. Drs. Sweetser and Thibert will coordinate clinic visits with other specialists as needed, including doctors from gastroenterology and nutrition, pulmonary medicine, neuropsychology and/or psychiatry.
Specialists in the clinic treat the full range of conditions associated with Pitt Hopkins, including:
- Sleep disturbance
- Gastrointestinal problems including dismotility/constipation
- Developmental delays, autistic spectrum disorder and intellectual disability
- Pulmonary issues – episodic hyperventilation and/or breath-holding
- Behavioral disorders and psychiatric disease
Faculty from the Pitt Hopkins Clinic are working with researcher Stephen J. Haggarty, PhD, at Mass General to better understand the mechanisms of Pitt Hopkins Syndrome and other genetic disorders. Dr. Haggarty’s long-term goal is to translate this knowledge into the discovery of novel targeted therapeutics for the treatment and prevention of neuropsychiatric disorders. Learn more about Dr. Haggarty's research.
More Information About Pitt Hopkins Syndrome
- GeneReviews® from the U.S. National Library of Medicine: Pitt Hopkins Syndrome by David A Sweetser, MD, PhD, Ibrahim Elsharkawi, MD, Lael Yonker, MD, Marcie Steeves, MS, CGC, Kimberly Parkin, and Ronald Thibert, DO, MsPH.
- Pitt Hopkins syndrome from the Genetics Home Reference, U.S. National Library of Medicine
- NORD - National Organization for Rare Disorders
Meet Our Doctors
Our physicians, nurses, counselors, and researchers collaborate to provide the best possible care for your child.
- Pediatric & Adolescent Musculoskeletal and Sports Medicine Specialist
- Assistant, Department of Orthopaedics, Division of Pediatric Orthopaedics
- Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics
- Staff Neuropsychologist, MGH Psychology Assessment Center
- Instructor, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
- Department of Neurology
- Director, Inspired Health Program
- Medical Director, Outdoors Rx
- Associate Director, Pediatric Cardiopulmonary Exercise Laboratory
- Chief of Medical Genetics and Metabolism, MGH
- Attending Physician in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
- Co-Director Pitt Hopkins Clinic
- Director, Angelman Syndrome Clinic
- Director, Dup15q Center
- Co-Director, Pitt Hopkins Clinic
- Medical Director, Pediatric Neurogastroenterology Program
- Instructor, Harvard Medical School
- Genetic Counselor
- Amanda Tourjee, RN, NP
- Katrina Styles, BSN, RN, CPN
- Steve Haggarty, PhD
Clinical Research Coordinator
- Kimberly Parkin, BS, CRC