Governor First Spouses Join with New Jersey First Lady Mary Pat Christie to Support Advances in Biomedical Research to Treat Down Syndrome Cognitive Impairment

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Cognition research funded by Research Down Syndrome and LuMind Foundation opens opportunities for individuals with Down syndrome and may identify potential treatments to lessen the impact of Alzheimer’s disease in persons with Down syndrome as well as the greater Alzheimer's community.

New Jersey Governor First Spouse Mary Pat Christie was joined by other First Spouses from across the country in sponsoring the “Light the Way” event on March 21, 2015, World Down Syndrome Day(WDSD), to increase awareness of, and encourage support for, the rapidly advancing area of Down syndrome cognition research.

In addition to New Jersey, participating states included Alabama, Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Local Down syndrome associations in several states also participated in promoting this event.

The program brings attention to Down syndrome cognition research, which holds great promise for improving memory, learning and communication for individuals of all ages with Down syndrome. This research may also identify potential treatments to lessen the impact of Alzheimer’s disease in persons with Down syndrome as well as the greater Alzheimer's community.

On WDSD, participating First Spouses recognized the event in a variety of ways to bring greater attention to Down syndrome cognition research. The goals of the Light the Way program are to expand awareness of this medical research initiative, including the efforts of Research Down Syndrome and LuMind Foundations to fund these bio-medical programs. In the last several years, researchers have made significant progress toward understanding and treating the cognitive issues associated with Down syndrome. These research programs have led to the discovery of multiple drug targets and supported the initiation of four clinical trials testing potential drug treatments. These studies now provide the promise of biomedical therapies for improving memory, learning and communication in individuals with Down syndrome, offering the potential for increased life opportunities.

About Research Down Syndrome and LuMind Foundation

Research Down Syndrome and LuMind Foundation are non-profit foundations that support and fund Down syndrome cognition research conducted at leading institutions that are studying the basis of the intellectual impairments associated with Down syndrome, including Johns Hopkins University, Emory University, Stanford University, The University of Arizona, and the University of California, San Diego. Recent scientific advances have revolutionized this field of research, providing for the near term development of targeted medical therapies to treat the cognitive challenges associated with Down syndrome, improving memory, learning and communication, expanding and enhancing life opportunities, for people of all ages with Down syndrome. Research Down Syndrome and LuMind Foundation are legal corporate entities and 501(c) (3) nonprofit organizations designated by the Internal Revenue Code. For more information, please visit http://www.researchds.org or http://www.lumindfoundation.org.

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Robert Schoen, Ph.D.
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Robert C. Schoen, Ph.D.
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