The Down Syndrome Research and Treatment Foundation Announces New Grant Awards to Advance Cognition Research and Potential New Therapies in Down Syndrome

DSRTF announces the award of its 2012-2013 Research Grants funding leading researchers to help accelerate the delivery of treatments to improve learning, memory and speech for people with Down syndrome.

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Improving learning, memory, and speech for people with Down syndrome

These grants will significantly further progress in research for new therapies to improve cognition for children and adults with Down syndrome.

Palo Alto, CA (PRWEB) October 07, 2012

The Down Syndrome Research and Treatment Foundation (DSRTF) announces the award of new 2012-2013 Research Grants to fund leading researchers from major research centers around the country to help accelerate the delivery of treatments to improve cognition, including learning, memory and speech, for individuals with Down syndrome. Recipients of these new awards include researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine; the University of Arizona; Stanford University; the VA Palo Alto Health Care System; the University of Texas, Austin; and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine for their work with a network of institutions participating in the Down Syndrome Cognition Project.

With the funding of its 2012-2013 DSRTF Research Grants, DSRTF has now provided over $9 million to advance Down syndrome cognition research.

"The new grants supporting these exceptional investigators and their research will significantly further progress in discovery, translational, and clinical research for new therapies to improve cognition for children and adults with Down syndrome,” says Dr. Michael Harpold, DSRTF's Chief Scientific Officer and Chair, Scientific Advisory Board. “DSRTF’s Research Program and Grants have been critical in addressing key strategic priorities and accelerating the unprecedented advances leading to the initiation of landmark new clinical trials.

“It is also important to note that the results made possible by DSRTF Research Grants have provided leverage for supported researchers to gain more than $6 million in additional research funding to date through the NIH and other sources,” Dr. Harpold adds. “DSRTF recognizes that without the generous financial support of the Foundation’s donors, these new advances, grants, and initiatives would not be possible, and we are grateful to all for their support.”

In the past year, the pharmaceutical company Roche initiated early-stage clinical trials to test the tolerability and safety of a new drug molecule to improve cognition in individuals with Down syndrome involving nine trial sites around the country and an additional site in the UK. Roche has now initiated two additional supporting clinical studies focused on cognition in individuals with Down syndrome.

DSRTF, a national nonprofit organization founded in 2004, focuses exclusively on identifying and funding critical biomedical cognition research for children and adults with Down syndrome. The Foundation’s mission is to accelerate the development of treatments that will allow people with Down syndrome to:

  •     participate more successfully in school and work;
  •     lead more active and independent lives; and
  •     prevent additional earlier cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer's disease.

These new 2012-2013 Research Grants build significantly upon the DSRTF-supported research that has led to dramatic breakthroughs in defining specific mechanisms responsible for cognitive impairment in Down syndrome, as well as identifying new drug targets and developing safe and effective new drugs for improving cognitive function.

The new 2012-2013 DSRTF Research Grants include:

JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
DSRTF Research Center Grant: “A Down Syndrome Virtual Center for Basic and Translational Studies-Cognition and Therapy in Down Syndrome”

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN DIEGO SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
DSRTF Research Center Grant: “Defining the Genes and Mechanisms Causing Neurodegeneration in Down Syndrome (DS) and Discovering Effective Treatments”

UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
DSRTF Innovation Research Grant: “The Neuropsychology of Down Syndrome”

STANFORD UNIVERSITY
DSRTF Innovation Research Grant: “Mechanisms Underlying the Roles of Sleep and Circadian Rhythms in the Learning Disability of Down Syndrome”

VA PALO ALTO HEALTH CARE SYSTEM
DSRTF Innovation Research Pilot Grant: “Improving Adrenergic Signaling for the Treatment of Cognitive Dysfunction in Down Syndrome”

UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS, AUSTIN
DSRTF Innovation Research Pilot Grant: “Molecular Analysis of Proneurogenic, Neuroprotective Drugs on Prevention of APP-induced Neurodegeneration in a Model of Down Syndrome”

For individual 2012-2013 Research Grant Project Summaries with more detailed information, please visit our web site at http://www.dsrtf.org.

About the Down Syndrome Research and Treatment Foundation:

The Down Syndrome Research and Treatment Foundation (DSRTF) is a national non-profit organization headquartered in Palo Alto, California, aimed at accelerating the development of treatments to significantly improve cognition, including memory, learning and speech, for individuals with Down syndrome. DSRTF funds research at major research centers, including Johns Hopkins Medical Center, Stanford University, University of California, San Diego, and University of Arizona. Since its founding in 2004, DSRTF has committed more than $9 million to fund results-driven research programs that will benefit children and adults with Down syndrome.


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