NYT: The Truth About Down Syndrome
Two LuMind-funded researchers, Jamie Edgin and Fabian Fernandez, respond to remarks by biologist Richard Dawkins with a fact-filled Op-Ed in the New York Times on August 28, 2014. Here are some of the facts they present:
- Children and young adults with Down syndrome have significantly higher “adaptive” skills
- Recent research suggests that the cognitive impairment that is a hallmark of Down syndrome might eventually be managed by medical interventions
- Medical interventions to address the higher rate of sleep apnea and its impact on cognitive function in individuals with Down syndrome has the potential to improve developmental outcomes over the course of an individual’s life span
- With the near universal earlier development of Alzheimer's disease in individuals with Down syndrome, recent and ongoing research progress underscores the hope of providing preventive treatments in those with Down syndrome, and that could benefit everyone
Explore the full statistics and other facts in the full Op-Ed - and join in the happiness.
National Public Radio Features LuMind-Funded Researchers
Thank you supporters - read how your donations are doing great work at the University of California San Diego.
In a piece titled "People with Down Syndrome are Pioneers in Alzheimer's Research" Drs. Raffi and Mobley are interviewed, along with 39 year old Justin McGowan who has Ds about the research they are conducting on connections between the Down syndrome community and Alzheimer's disease.
Thank you, pioneers!
Shon Christy Joins LuMind Foundation As Newest Board Member
Shon Christy has been with LuMind Foundation as an active committee member and the Foundation is pleased he accepted a leadership role in the organization. Christy and his wife Brittany are parents to five beautiful children, including an wonderful, playful son named Beckett who has Down syndrome. Welcome Shon! Read more...
The Denoble Family Foundation Pledges $100,000 to Support Down Syndrome Cognition Research
With sincere gratitude, we announce a generous $100,000 pledge from The DeNoble Family Foundation. We appreciate their support of our mission to fund Down syndrome cognition research through LuMind Foundation.
It takes all types of support to keep the cognitive development research breakthroughs moving through the investigation pipeline. Large grants from philanthropic organizations help us take leaps, but every donation helps with those very important small steps. Thank you to all our supporters!
LuMind Vice Chairman Ryan Hartman Named President and CEO of Insitu
Ryan Hartman, LuMind Foundation's incoming Board Chairman, has been named as president and CEO of Insitu, a Boeing company. In the announcement of his new position, Boeing acknowledged Hartman's track record of advancing research and engineering, coupled with strong management skills. We are so happy to have those skills be part of the LuMind Foundation Board of Directors. You can read more about Ryan's new role with Insitu/Boeing, on the company website.
Congratulations, Ryan - and we're glad to have you on our team!
A Message from LuMind Foundation's Executive Director, Carolyn Cronin
I am sending a letter via mail or email to our supporters, past and present, to tell you of some exciting news and to thank you for your continued financial support to help people with Down syndrome lead more active and independent lives through investment in cognition research. Your donations fund endeavors at leading research institutions such as Johns Hopkins University, Stanford University, and University of California – San Diego.
The letter I am sending expresses my hope you will be inspired to renew your support of our mission and make a donation.
Recently I met Wils, a 23 year-old college graduate with Down syndrome. When asked why cognition research is important to him, Wils responded, “I want to drive cars, I want to live in my own house, be in charge of my own office because I am a good leader and ambassador. If I could remember things more and be smarter to make good healthy decisions, I could do that stuff faster. That would make me happy.”
There’s no doubt Wils has the determination to achieve his goals. The key question is “when” can research help him?
“Faster.” Thanks to compassionate donors like you, the promise of cognition research is closer for Wils and people of all ages with Down syndrome. You’ve helped fund groundbreaking research leading to nine new drug targets and three clinical trials. We are so grateful for your support, but there is more to be done.
Right now, your donation is accelerating exciting discoveries that mean:
- Independence: A 15% improvement in IQ for most people with Down syndrome can mean the difference between living a more independent life – or not.
- Reality: This 15% improvement is closer than ever with three drug compounds being tested for efficacy in human clinical trials at sites around the world.
- Opening Doors: The LuMind Foundation was a driving force in raising the private support necessary to get these compounds into clinical trials since Down syndrome research is dramatically underfunded by the NIH, with other developmental disabilities receiving 5x more funding on a per person basis.
- Looking Ahead: Researchers supported by the LuMind Foundation are unraveling the connections between Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease. Many people with Ds begin showing signs of Alzheimer’s as early as 40 years old. The research you support will help adults with Ds keep the ground they’ve worked so hard to gain.
In the coming year, we have committed more than $1.2M in Down syndrome cognition research grants to leading research universities. Please consider working together to continue LuMind Foundation’s substantial investment in multidisciplinary, collaborative research.
Now for the exciting news: We have received a generous challenge gift and all gifts of $1,000 and above will be matched 1:1 - doubling your impact in this urgent drive to deliver improved cognition.
Every gift is appreciated. More than 98% of our funding comes from individuals like you and we need your help to keep breakthroughs coming faster! With you as a partner, people with Down syndrome have confidence in a future of increased opportunity thanks to the research we underwrite. And we can continue this essential work, thanks entirely to you.
UCSD Study Unraveling the Complexities between Down Syndrome and Alzheimer's Disease
Our friends at University of California, San Diego are helping to unravel the complexities of Down syndrome and Alzheimer's disease. A news report from WFMZ in San Diego refers to a three-year pilot project involving a relatively small set of individuals with Down syndrome, like the impressive Jonathan Shirley.
Dr. Mike Rafii, the principal investigator on this pilot Down Syndrome Biomarker Initiative (DSBI) and his research colleagues at UCSD, are investigating the similarities between the brains of aging people with Down syndrome and those with Alzheimer's disease, both developing buildup of characteristic amyloid plaques. Individuals with Down syndrome develop these amyloid plaques earlier by the age of 40.
LuMind Foundation's Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Michael Harpold, is a member of the DSBI steering committee and is collaborating with Dr. Rafii and others on developing a larger private-public partnership DSBI study. That program is currently in the planning and development stage. To see the news segment in full and watch a video of Jonathan Shirley, please click here.
Making Connections: Down Syndrome Cognition Research and Alzheimer's Disease
Want to learn more about the connections research is discovering between Down syndrome and Alzheimer's disease? Read how LuMind funded researchers are investigating early onset Alzheimer's disease in people with Down syndrome and how that research may benefit the greater Alzheimer's community. Learn more.