Down Syndrome

child with down syndromeDown syndrome, or trisomy 21, is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition, affecting approximately one in every 733 babies each year.  Down syndrome is a chromosomal condition caused by a full or partial extra 21st chromosome. This excess chromosome changes the developmental pathway.

The Waisman Center encompasses a wide range of programs related to Down syndrome, with the goal of better understanding the biological underpinnings as well as providing resources and services to individuals with Down syndrome and their families.

Current Research

Anita Bhattacharyya, PhD, engages in basic biological research using Down syndrome-specific stem cells to study the development of the cerebral cortex and how it is altered in Down syndrome.

Brad Christian, PhD, leads a study using neuroimaging techniques (MRI and PET scanning) to evaluate the degree of amyloid deposits in the brains of adults with Down syndrome. This information is being correlated with the results of psychological testing done by Sigan Hartley, PhD, to better understand the aging process in this population.

Houri Vorperian, PhD, studies how the oral and pharyngeal anatomy affects speech in individuals with Down syndrome and other populations. This study analyzes MRI and CT scans to produce a new understanding of the special challenges faced by some people with Down syndrome in speaking, swallowing, and breathing.

Down Syndrome Resources