New Alzheimer’s Disease Study Seeks Northeast Ohio Volunteers with Down Syndrome
March 30, 2022
UH Clinical Update | April 2022
As many as eight in 10 people with Down syndrome develop Alzheimer’s disease; new study needs volunteers to help identify causes and treatments
A new study seeking answers to the link between Alzheimer’s disease and Down syndrome is recruiting volunteers in Northeast Ohio. With as many as 8 in 10 people with Down syndrome developing Alzheimer’s disease, researchers believe this population could be the key to finding treatments or a cure for the disease.
Because Alzheimer’s disease affects people with Down syndrome at a much earlier age than those without the syndrome, researchers at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center/Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine are looking for at least 120 volunteers ages 35 to 55 to participate in the Trial Ready Cohort-Down Syndrome (TRC-DS), a new international study funded by the National Institutes of Health, fast-tracking people with Down syndrome into Alzheimer’s studies.
Alzheimer’s disease occurs in people with Down syndrome because the extra-copy of chromosome 21 carries the gene for amyloid precursor protein and this results in the build-up of amyloid plaques and tangles—which is now the main theory behind the leading cause of Alzheimer’s disease.
“People with Down syndrome have been pioneers in Alzheimer’s disease discovery for decades,” said Alan J. Lerner, MD, of University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. “Now, we hope to discover promising treatments and give back to those who helped with the earliest Alzheimer’s breakthroughs.”
TRC-DS matches people with Down syndrome to clinical trials related to Alzheimer’s disease. By creating a community of people who are interested in learning about research opportunities and are ready and willing to participate, researchers hope to recruit participants for future clinical trials.
About the Alzheimer’s Clinical Trials Consortium- Down Syndrome
The Alzheimer’s Clinical Trial Consortium- Down Syndrome (ACTC-DS) is a state-of-the-art infrastructure network established with funding by the NIA to support the conduct of clinical trials targeting Alzheimer’s disease in adults with Down syndrome (DS). The ACTC-DS leverages the depth and breadth of AD and DS clinical research teams as well as the considerable experience of investigators at 15 expert AD and DS trial sites to provide an optimal infrastructure, utilizing centralized resources and shared expertise, to accelerate the development of effective interventions for Alzheimer’s disease in adults with Down syndrome.
University Hospitals Neurological Institute is dedicated to research and the advancement of care for patients with neurological diseases. Clinical trials are research studies that involve the participation of human volunteers. The purpose of a clinical trial is to test the safety and effectiveness of new ways to diagnose, prevent and treat a medical problem, such as disease, illness or injury. Some studies are preventative, while some look at new treatments of illnesses and disorders, and others study the recovery of patients after illness.
Experts from the Brain Health & Memory Center at University Hospitals Cleveland Neurological Institute are dedicated to studying and developing promising therapies in the field of brain health, cognition, and memory disorders. Our team of physicians and scientists work closely to conduct research and clinical trials to better understand and care for patients affected by these disorders.