Why are medical researchers interested in Down syndrome?
Down syndrome is a developmental condition. As researchers learn more about the molecular genetics and other aspects of Down syndrome, they also obtain valuable information about human development and can advance the study of many biological processes. In addition, individuals with Down syndrome have a higher incidence of certain medical conditions, and the study of Down syndrome may yield important breakthroughs in those areas. Research in Down syndrome provides a way for looking at many important problems:
• Cognitive Dysfunction Reversed in Mouse Model of Down Syndrome
A study by neuroscientist William C. Mobley, MD, PhD, chair of the Department of Neurosciences at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, and colleagues at Stanford University Medical School has demonstrated a possible new approach to slowing the inevitable progression of cognitive decline found in Down syndrome.
Health Matters: Down Syndrome
Did you ever wonder how advances in science translate into practical medical care? William Mobley, MD, discusses how discoveries in one area of medicine often have wider applications. Mobley describes his transformative work with Down syndrome and the impact it may have in treatment of other diseases such as Alzheimer's in this 30 minute interview
. Also available is a 4-minute video highlighting Dr. William Mobley
as he describes his research on Down syndrome cognition and Alzheimer's disease at the Down Syndrome Center for Research and Treatment.
Clinical Trials & Research Studies:
A clinical trial is a research study conducted with patients to determine if a particular new medical treatment, drug or device is effective. In some cases, trials are used to determine if existing therapies can be used successfully in new ways. Usually, before a new therapy is evaluated in a clinical trial, it has already been tested rigorously in the laboratory (to gauge its effectiveness) and in animals (to see how it affects a living organism). Once researchers are convinced that a particular therapy holds the promise of being safe and effective, they use clinical trials to evaluate the therapy in humans.
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