Research under way at the University of Arizona is revealing a connection between quality of sleep and the learning and memory functions in children with Down Syndrome.

“It’s well known that children with Down Syndrome are vulnerable to developing sleep apnea which results in pauses in breathing,” UA psychology student Jennifer Breslin says. Breslin has been conducting a study looking at children with Down
Syndrome and the occurrence of sleep apnea.

“if we can demonstrate that kids with poor sleep have poor cognitive outcomes, we can make a case for intervention and ultimately improving their behavior and learning ability,” she says. “If we could give these kids a better quality of life, that would be awesome.”

The developmental disorder is caused by an extra chromosome and is named after John Langdon Down, a British physician who described the illness in 1866.

Down Syndrome is the most common genetic form of intellectual disability and usually occurs in 1 to 600 live births,” Dr. Jamie Edgin of the UA’s Down Syndrome Research Group says.

Researchers in the Department of Psychology at the University   of Arizona have teamed together to develop a research group devoted to   understanding the cognitive difficulties faced by individuals with Down syndrome (DS). The Down Syndrome Research Group (DSRG) is lead by Regents Professor Lynn   Nadel. Professor Nadel is an internationally recognized expert on cognition in   DS, with over 20 years experience on this topic. The group’s work is done in   collaboration with major centers for Down syndrome research, including Johns   Hopkins University and Emory University. Our current funding agencies include   the Down Syndrome Research and Treatment Foundation, the National Down Syndrome Society, the Arizona Alzheimer’s Research Center and the University of Arizona Foundation. The group is   currently pursuing research in the following areas:

1. The basis for variability in cognitive function in children   with DS
2. The development of Alzheimer’s disease in DS
3. The early   development of language skills in DS
4. The relationship between sleep   problems and cognitive outcomes

We are always looking for new research participants, so please  feel free to email or call us if you think your child may be eligible for one of   our studies.

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Filed under: Other DisordersSleepSleep ApneaSleep Apnea EffectsSleep Apnea in ChildrenSleep Apnea NewsSleep Apnea ResearchSleep Disordered BreathingSleep Problems

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