Washington, DC (August 18, 2008) In the world of Down syndrome, 'Mr. C' is a rarity. A real person whose progress has been tracked for the past 16 years, at seventy, 'Mr. C' has well surpassed the average life expectancy of a person with Down syndrome, currently in the late fifties, but in the teens when 'Mr. C' was born. Further, 'Mr. C' does not exhibit clinical symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, which is almost a given for people with typical Down syndrome over 65 yeas of age. 'Mr. C', while remaining nameless, puts an optimistic face on the future of aging for people with Down Syndrome, as scientists ask the critical question: What is it about 'Mr. C''s individual characteristics and experiences that have made him not only live longer, but also age successfully despite having Down syndrome? The case of 'Mr. C', including descriptions of comprehensive cognitive, behavioral, and genetic analyses and implications for research is published in the June 2008 issue of the journal, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. To read "Successful Aging in a 70-Year-Old Man With Down Syndrome: A Case Study" by Sharon J. Krinsky-McHale et al., click here.
"'Mr. C' paints an optimistic picture for people with Down syndrome who are aging, and says that an ordinary person with Down syndrome ought to be able to make it to seventy, once you find 'Mr. C''s secret," explains Dr. Sharon J. Krinsky-McHale, lead author of the study and Research Scientist at the New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities.
People with Down syndrome are born with an extra copy of Chromosome 21, and these third copies of genes on Chromosome 21 lead to an overproduction of certain proteins that cause the phenotype of Down syndrome, including familiar facial features, congenital heart diseases, cognitive impairments, and other conditions. Previous studies of people with D
|Contact: Anu Prabhala|
American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities