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CURRENT STUDIES

Research for individuals with Down syndrome is important. Through research, medical professionals are finding better treatments for various underlying conditions most prevalent in individuals with Down syndrome such as sleep apnea, congenital heart conditions, and Alzheimer’s Disease. These breakthroughs help increase life expectancy for individuals with Down syndrome, and can also help increase independence. Below are current research trials taking place across the United States.

Adult Study (25+ yrs): Alzheimer Biomarker Consortium-Down Syndrome (ABC-DS)

The Alzheimer Biomarkers Consortium-Down Syndrome (ABC-DS) is a study funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) INCLUDE (INvestigation of Co-occurring conditions across the Lifespan to Understand Down syndromE) project. The goal of ABC-DS is to follow a cohort of adults with Down syndrome over time to identify early biomarkers that may herald the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. The investigators hope that these biomarkers can be useful to inform clinical trials and improve the quality of life in people with Down syndrome and for the general population.

Why: The study aims to better understand the connections between Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Who: People with Down syndrome age 25 and older accompanied by a Study Partner (ie: parent, caregiver, legal guardian).

What: Participants will visit one of the research sites to complete puzzles and games. During the visit there will also be pictures taken of your brain, a blood sample and a general physical examination.

Compensation: Participants will be compensated for their travel and time.

Questions: For more information about the ABC-DS study including how to participate, visit www.abc-ds.org.

Parent/Caregiver Study: University of Maryland Baltimore: Grief and Bereavement in Children with Intellectual Disabilities

Researchers at the University of Maryland Baltimore are conducting a study to understand more about how children with intellectual disabilities grieve after the loss of someone in their life.

Why: Researchers are interested to learn more about how to support other children in similar situations.

Who: Parents/guardians over age 18 who have a child with an intellectual disability and the child was between the ages of 5-17 when they experienced the death of someone significant in their life (such as a parent, sibling, grandparent, or friend). Additionally, the death was at least 6 months ago and no longer than 3 years ago.

What: Participants will be interviewed for approximately one hour. Interviews will be conducted by video or phone. Your child may optionally join for a short portion of the interview.

Compensation: You will receive a $25 gift card for your participation.

Questions: If you are interested in participating or have any questions, please email [email protected] or call 240-242-7424 for more information.

Pediatric Study (10-22mos): University of Southern California: Walking Development

Researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) are conducting a study to learn about the development of walking with mobility devices in infants and toddlers with Down syndrome.

Why: Researchers are interested in learning more about infants’ ability to take steps with support before they can walk on their own. This will help them to design an intervention for infants with Down Syndrome to help them learn to walk sooner.

 

Who: Infants who have a diagnosis of Down Syndrome, are between 10-22 months of age, and are not able to walk independently. If your child is younger than 10 months, we can schedule a visit a few months ahead!

 

What: If you choose to participate, you will visit the lab (see address below) up to five times throughout a year. At each visit, at video recording will be taken of  your child taking steps on a treadmill and walking with a mobility device called a gait trainer. A test of your child’s motor skills will also be performed. Each visit takes about one hour.

 

Where:     

USC Center for Health Professions

1540 Alcazar Street

Los Angeles, CA 90033

 

Compensation: You will receive a $25 Amazon gift card for each visit (up to $125 total) plus complimentary parking.

Questions: If you are interested in participating or have any questions, please contact us at [email protected] or (323) 442-3119.

 

 

Adult Study (18-39yrs): Drexel University: Project ASPIRE

Project ASPIRE: Assessing Skills that Predict Independence and Readiness for Employment for Adults with Down Syndrome 

Researchers at Drexel University are conducting a study to understand more about cognitive and behavioral factors that are associated with vocational outcomes and independent living skills among young adults with Down syndrome.

Who can participate?  

To participate, you must be the family member of an adult with Down syndrome (who is between the ages of 18 and 39 years).

Where does the study take place? 

All activities are completed online.

What can I expect to happen in this study? 

You will be asked to answer questions about your family member’s behavior, daytime activities, and your family’s background. You will be compensated for your time with a gift card. 

How long am I part of the study? 

Participation takes approximately 1.5 hours.

I want to learn more. Who do I contact for more information? 

If you want to determine if you are eligible to participate and begin to complete study procedures, select the study link or scan the QR code on the downloadable file below.

Questions:

If you have questions or want to contact the study Principal Investigators, Dr. Nancy Raitano Lee, and Dr. Gregory Wallace, please contact the study via email ([email protected]) or phone (215.553.7164).

 

 

Pediatric Study (9-18yrs): Universities of Alabama and Nebraska: Reading Skills Study

The University of Alabama and the University of Nebraska are looking for children and adolescents between the ages of 9-18 with Down syndrome to complete language and reading tasks to better understand reading abilities, including both strengths and weaknesses.
About the Study: We can travel to participants anywhere in the United States! Participants will complete reading, language, and cognitive assessments. Also, parents/primary caregivers will complete a background questionnaire. This is an in-person study. This study is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Who can participate?
Children and adolescents 9 to 18 years old who are diagnosed with Down syndrome.
Will you be paid to be in this research study?
Families will receive a $40 gift card.

To Participate/Learn More: For more information, email: [email protected] or [email protected].

 

Pediatric Study (5-17yrs): Cincinnati Children's Hospital: Sleep Apnea Study

Cincinnati Children’s is conducting a research study to look at oxygen as a treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in children with Down syndrome. The main reason for the study is to show how 6 months of oxygen treatment while sleeping affects the participants sleep, quality of life, breathing, heart and if it makes the participant feel better.
Who can participate?
Children 5 to 17 years old who are diagnosed with Down syndrome and who:
•Have been diagnosed with OSA
•Have had their tonsils and adenoids removed
•Have not been successful with CPAP or unable to use it
Will you be paid to be in this research study?
Participants will receive up to $735 for time and effort.

 

To Participate/Learn More: For more information, visit www.dosatrial.org or contact the study coordinators by email at: [email protected] or by phone at: 513-636-2814.

 

Caregiver & ID/DD Study (18+yrs): University of Louisville: Relationship and Health Needs

Researchers at the University of Louisville Kent School of Social Work and Family Science are conducting a research study to learn about the relationship and health needs of adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities by interviewing them and their care providers (paid or family).

Who Can Participate? 

  • People over 18 years of age with an intellectual/developmental disability and your care provider who is with you for more than twenty hours per week and who is also willing to be interviewed.

To Participate/Learn More:

For more information, contact Jennifer Kendrick at [email protected].

 

Adult Study (18-26 yrs): Baylor University: Written Language Intervention Using Functional Texts

Learning to read is a lifelong process. As such, the Communication Sciences and Disorders department of Baylor University is conducting a study to evaluate the effects of a virtual literacy/reading intervention for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The results of this study will help to improve reading intervention practices and transition services.

In this study, participants will learn how to use reading strategies to help understand things that are read every day (e.g., text messages, emails, and written directions).Reading sessions will take place for approximately 12 weeks. Coordinators will do their best to schedule the sessions at a time that is convenient for you. It is expected that you will be enrolled in the study for approximately 9 months which includes pre-testing, the reading lessons, post-testing, and follow-up testing.

Who Can Participate? 

  • 18- to 26-year olds with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities

What will you do? 

  • Complete one-on-one twice weekly reading lessons on Zoom to learn and practice using reading comprehension strategies with functional texts like text messages and emails.

What will you receive? 

  • Participates will receive language literacy assessments and reports upon completion of the study as well as up to $225 over the duration of the study for completion of assessment visits and surveys.

To Participate:

If you are interested in participating, please let us know by (a) emailing us at [email protected] or (b) calling us at 254-710-2572. If you consent to participate in this study, it does not guarantee that you will be involved in the entire research study. If you consent to participate, we will conduct an initial session to determine whether you are eligible to continue in the study.

 

Questions?

Email [email protected]

 

Parent Study: Nova Southeastern University Florida: Impact of the Delivery Style of a Down syndrome Diagnosis on Familial Attitudes

The Nova Southeastern University of Florida research team is looking for parents of a child diagnosed with Down syndrome. The purpose of this study is to find out if the delivery of a Down syndrome diagnosis by a healthcare professional impacts familial attitudes. We hope to use the results of this study to identify the best practices for delivering a Down syndrome diagnosis, so families are well informed on their child’s condition and how to manage it.

 

Who Can Participate? 

  • Parents of a child diagnosed with Down syndrome by a healthcare professional.

What will you do? 

  • You will be taking a one-time, anonymous survey. The survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete.

What will you receive? 

  • Participation is voluntary and no payment will be provided.

To Participate:
If you have read the above information and voluntarily wish to participate in this research study, please click on the following link for the REDCap survey:

https://redcap.nova.edu/redcap/surveys/?s=N9LJKHW88KAWY893

Questions?

If you have questions, you can contact Palak Bhargav, Rehan Contractor, Dr. Kristi Messer, or Dr. Jose Llanga at 813-406-9225, 813-420-2847, 954-262-1072, and 954-554-5609 respectively.

If you have questions about the study but want to talk to someone who is not a part of the study, please call the Nova Southeastern University Institutional Review Board (IRB) at: (954) 262-5369 or toll-free at: 1-866-499-0790 or email: [email protected].

 

Pediatric Study (5-18 years): University of Wisconsin: Energy Expenditure & Weight-Related Behavior Study

The University of Wisconsin (UW Milwaukee) research team is looking for families of children aged 5-18 years with Down syndrome in the United States to participate. This study is being conducted to determine how much energy children with Down syndrome use daily. This information will help determine how much children with Down syndrome should eat and drink based on age, gender, and activity level.

Who Can Participate? 

  • Children aged 5-18 years with Down syndrome.

What will you do? 

If you participate in this study, you will have a virtual study visit through Zoom with you and your child. You can do this in your home. Appointments are offered during weekdays and weekends. The study visit will take about 5 hours, but you won’t be on the video call the entire time; there will be breaks. During this study visit, we will work with you to do several activities, including:

  • Taking simple measurements on your child such as height, weight, and waist & hip circumferences
  • Completing surveys
  • Completing activities that involve your child sitting, moving and walking at different paces
  • Completing food recalls, where we ask what your child ate the day before
  • We will also ask your child to drink special water that tracks how much energy they burn. Energy is tracked by collecting urine samples from your child several times after they drink this water.

Before the visit, we will send you two boxes with all of the supplies needed for the study. We pay for shipping, and you can set up a home pick-up to send the supplies back to us.

After the study visit, we will ask you and your child to do a few more things over the next week:

  • We will ask your child to wear a Fitbit on their wrist and another activity monitor on their waist.
  • We will schedule two video calls to complete two more food recalls.
  • We will ask you to collect two more urine samples one week after the initial study visit.
  • We will ask you to send back all materials and urine samples to our lab with a prepaid shipping label.

What will you receive? 

  • Once the activities above are completed and supplies and urine samples are sent back, we will send you a $250 gift card to thank you for your participation in the study.

Register to Participate: Down Syndrome Energy Expenditure and Weight-Related Behaviors Research Study (qualtrics.com)

Questions?

The principal investigator (PI) for this study is Dr. Michele Polfuss, PhD, RN, CPNP-AC/PC, FAAN. Please feel free to contact Michele for more information at: (920) 470-2150 or [email protected] or see this website: https://uwm.edu/nursing/directory/polfuss-michele/ or Linkedin website: www.linkedin.com/in/michele-polfuss-7b421432. 

 

Pediatric Study (2-5yrs): Boston Children's Hospital: BRIDGE Study

Researchers in the Down Syndrome Program & the Labs of Cognitive Neuroscience at Boston Children’s Hospital are recruiting young children between 2 and 5 years old with Down Syndrome (DS) to participate in a study investigating how differences in brain activity affect learning, language, and behavior in DS.

Who Can Participate? 

  • Children aged 24-66 months with Down syndrome.

What will you do? 

  • 2 visits, each one year apart, at the Labs of Cognitive Neuroscience at Boston Children’s Hospital. 
  • Each visit includes clinical and behavioral assessments that will evaluate your child’s thinking, motor skills, language skills, and social communication. In addition, we will measure your child’s brain activity using electroencephalography (EEG).  
  • EEG is a safe and radiation free way to measure brain activity in response to different sounds and pictures.  

What will you receive? 

  • Families will receive a small toy and $50 per visit for participating. We will provide free parking and child-care for siblings. 
  • Families will receive a written report about their child’s development. 

For more information about the BRIDGE study, please call the Down Syndrome Program research team at (617) 919-6809 or email [email protected]. You can also download the flyer below:

Primary Caregiver Study: Massachusetts General Hospital: Down Syndrome Health Instrument

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital Down Syndrome Program are asking primary caregivers to participate in a survey about the health of individuals with Down syndrome (DS).

Although over 200,000 individuals with Down syndrome live in the United States, studies to date have focused on the outcomes apart from health. We need to accurately measure the health of all individuals with DS and there are not similar tools for this population available. Creating such an instrument will provide a barameter of the current state of health for DS and hold use in future research. We are creating an instrument that directly assesses health in DS, the Down syndrome Health Instrument (DHI).

The goal of DHI is to accurately measure the current health of an individual with Down syndrome. To be eligible, you must:

  1. Be the primary caregiver of an individual with Down syndrome (and the individual must be less than 22 years of age and no have mosaic DS).
  2. You, the caregiver, must be at least 18 years of age and be fluent in written and spoken English.
  3. You, the caregiver must be able to read and provide informed consent.

Participation is completely voluntary, and you have the right to withdraw at any time. You will be reimbursed for your time with a $25 gift card.

To receive a link to participate in the survey, or to ask questions about the survey, please email: [email protected].

For more information, download the flyer below:

Pediatric Study (3-6yrs): Boston Children's Hospital: Virtual JASPER Study

Researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital are conducting a study to investigate the impact of JASPER Behavioral Therapy in children with Down syndrome (ages 3-6). Participants and their caregivers will learn about child development, communication and social skills, managing challenging behaviors, and strategies for learning new skills.

There is no compensation for participating in this study. Participants can complete the study from home virtually in approximately 20 weeks.

If you’re interested in participating or have questions about the study, call 857-218-4779 or email: [email protected]. For more information, download the flyer below:

Pediatric Study (10-21yrs): Pediatric Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulation to Address Sleep Apnea

Doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital and Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary are studying new ways to treat obstructive sleep apnea in children and young adults with Down syndrome who have persistent obstructive sleep apnea despite prior tonsillectomy.

They are researching how placement of an investigational surgically implanted nerve stimulator for the purpose of treating severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) improves the neurocognition and expressive language skills in children with Down syndrome, ages 10-21.

This therapy has already been tested and approved by the FDA for use in adults meeting specific requirements. This research is being conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital and Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary by Drs. Hartnick and Skotko.

If you are interested in learning more about this study, and whether or not you/your child would be an appropriate candidate, please contact the research team by calling Dr. Hartnick at (617) 573-4206 or by email at [email protected].

Adult Study (18-30yrs): Massachusetts General Hospital: Neuroimaging and EEG Research Study

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital are conducting a study to examine the effectiveness of transcranial photobiomodulation (tPBM) on improving language, memory and attention in adults with Down syndrome (ages 18-30).

Compensation: up to $1,245 for participating and a stipend of $525 for cost of transportation. Caregivers will receive a stipend of $525.

If you’re interested in participating call 617-724-4539 and download the flyer below:

Pediatric Study (ages 6-17 yrs): MOSAIC Sleep Apnea Study

Families in Arizona, NM, Utah, and So. California: The University of Arizona is seeking participants for a clinical trial of medications to treat obstructive sleep apnea in children age 6-17 with Down syndrome.

This study will investigate the use a combination of atomoxetine (a medication approved by the FDA in children for the treatment of ADHD) and oxybutynin (a medication approved by the FDA in children for overactive bladder). These medications, which have been shown to treat obstructive sleep apnea in a small study of adults without Down syndrome, are thought to treat obstructive sleep apnea by increasing airway muscle strength, which is known to be lower in children with Down syndrome.

The clinical trial will involve completing a total of 3 sleep studies over 3 months and taking study medications for a total of 2 months. Participants should be within driving distance of the University of Arizona in Tucson.

Children may be eligible if they have a diagnosis of Down syndrome (trisomy 21, but not translocation or mosaicism) and do not have any of the following:

  • currently using and unable to discontinue PAP therapy
  • premature birth < 37 weeks estimated gestational age
  • seizure disorder requiring current use of medications
  • untreated or inadequately treated hypothyroidism
  • history of current, untreated depression
  • history of liver disease

If you would like more information about the study, please contact Silvia Lopez at [email protected] for further information. Participants will be compensated for their time. This study has been approved by the University of Arizona Institutional Review Board.

Adult Study (25-65yrs): The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT: Light and Sound Stimulation Study

The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT is studying how the brain responds to light and sound stimulation in Individuals with Down syndrome.

People with Down syndrome, ages 25-65, who are interested in a one-time study visit (at MIT in Cambridge, MA) are invited to learn more.

For more information, download the flyer below:

Adult Study (18-45yrs): Lurie Center for Autism Fluoxetine Study (Depression)

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The Lurie Center for Autism is conducting a study designed to evaluate the effects of fluoxetine in individuals with Down syndrome. Participants must be adults between 18 to 45 years of age with DS who are experiencing symptoms of depression.

Participants will receive all study related evaluations at no charge. For additional information about study requirements and study procedures, please contact Dr. Robyn Thom’s study staff at (781) 860-1711 or [email protected].

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