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Cleveland researchers looking for volunteers with Down syndrome to participate in Alzheimer's study

University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center.
Posted at 1:20 PM, Feb 24, 2022

CLEVELAND — Researchers at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center's Neurological Institute are looking for volunteers with Down syndrome to participate in a study that aims to find answers between Alzheimer’s and Down syndrome, as they believe this population could be the key to finding treatments or a cure to the disease.

The hospital is looking for at least 120 volunteers, ages 35-55, to participate in the Trial Ready Cohort-Down Syndrome (TRCD), a new international study funded by the National Institutes of Health that fast-tracks those with Down syndrome into Alzheimer’s studies.

As many as eight in 10 people with Down syndrome develop Alzheimer’s disease, researchers said.

Those researchers said Alzheimer’s disease affects people with Down syndrome at a much earlier age than those without the syndrome because they have an extra copy of chromosome 21, which carries the gene for amyloid precursor protein. This results in the build-up of amyloid plaques and tangles, which is now the main theory behind the leading cause of the disease.

“People with Down syndrome have been pioneers in Alzheimer’s disease discovery for decades,” Alan J. Lerner of UH Cleveland Medical Center said in a news release. “Now, we hope to discover promising treatments and give back to those who helped with the earliest Alzheimer’s breakthroughs.”

Individuals interested in volunteering can visit the TCRD’s website, call Parianne Fatica of UH Medical Center at 216-464-6474 or email her at parianne.fatica@uhhospitals.org.

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