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International Rugby Match To Benefit Autism Research

2008-07-21 09:00:00

International Rugby Match To Benefit Autism Research

     Portion of each ticket sold supports MUSC Department of Psychiatry

    CHARLESTON, S.C., July 21 /EMWNews/ -- Michelin announced today that

a part of the proceeds from each ticket to Michelin Challenge Rugby will

benefit autism research being conducted at the Medical University of South

Carolina (MUSC). The international rugby match, to be held on Aug. 9 at

Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, features leading French rugby team ASM

Clermont-Auvergne and the U.S. national team, the USA Eagles. ESPN Classic

will broadcast the match live at 7 p.m. EDT.

    "The latest research shows that autism affects one in 150 children and

one in 94 boys. What's more, the costs to each family dealing with autism

are in the millions of dollars, and continue to rise," said Herb Johnson,

director of community relations for Michelin North America. "While

researchers such as those at MUSC continue to make progress treating this

condition, we want to support their efforts. Michelin Challenge Rugby gives

us the ideal opportunity to do that."

    Autism is a brain development disorder that first appears during

infancy or childhood and generally follows a steady course without

significant improvement. Children with autism have multiple symptoms, often

showing severe impairments in social skills and language development.

Autism has a strong genetic basis although the genetics of autism are


    Dr. Lindsay DeVane, professor and vice chair for research in the

Department of Psychiatry, is one of several investigators at MUSC working

to better understand the causes and improve the treatment of children with

autism. His research in the Children's Research Institute and with

collaborators in the department of pediatrics is aimed at finding new

treatments and improving existing drug therapies for children with this

disease. Through simple blood tests to determine a genetic "fingerprint,"

medications can be matched to specific individuals that work best and cause

the fewest side effects in that child.

    "This approach to treatment, called pharmacogenetics, represents the

future of individualized medicine not only for autism but for most diseases

that are treated with drugs," said Dr. DeVane.

    Tickets to the international exhibition match start at $20 and are

available at A limited number of VIP tickets are also

available that include access to the Three Lions Club (at Blackbaud

Stadium) and include complimentary food and beverages. For groups of ten,

VIP tickets or for more information, call the Blackbaud Stadium box office

at 843-971-4625. Find out more by visiting

    About USA Rugby

    The USA Eagles rugby team represents the United States around the world

in international rugby play. USA Rugby currently fields 11 national teams

under the Eagle umbrella, Men's and Women's 15s and sevens, the Women's

Under-23 Team, the Collegiate All-Americans, the Men's and Women's Under-20

Teams and the newly formed Men's Under-19, Boys Under-18 and Boys Under-17

Team. Being chosen to play for one of the USA's representative sides is an

honor bestowed upon only a select few players each year.

    About Clermont-Auvergne Rugby

    Association Sportive Montferrandaise (ASM) Clermont-Auvergne is a

French rugby union club from Clermont-Ferrand in Auvergne that currently

competes in Top 14, the top level of the French league system. The club was

founded in 1911 as AS Michelin, and changed its name in 1922 to AS

Montferrandaise. For a time after it adopted its current name in 2004, the

club was frequently referred to as Montferrand both within and outside of


    About Michelin North America

    Dedicated to the improvement of sustainable mobility, Michelin designs,

manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including

airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy-duty

trucks, motorcycles and the space shuttle. The company also publishes

travel guides, hotel and restaurant guides, maps and road atlases.

Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Michelin North America

( employs more than 22,300 and operates 19 major

manufacturing plants in 17 locations.

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