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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Down syndrome


* Not a rare disease
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Other Names for this Disease
  • Down's syndrome
  • Trisomy 21
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How might Down syndrome be treated?

Early intervention services, quality educational programs, a stimulating home environment, good health care, and positive support from family and friends can help individuals with Down syndrome develop to their full potential.[1] The overall objective of treatment is to boost cognition by improving learning, memory, and speech. Scientific advances have made it possible to understand how specific genes are linked to specific abnormalities in the structure and function of the brain. Although there are hundreds of genes on chromosome 21, researchers believe it likely that only a handful significantly impact cognition. Many researchers now believe that it will be possible to isolate the effects of these specific genes and determine how their expression in the brain can cause problems with cognition. As researchers gain a better understanding of these mechanisms, they can begin the process of discovering treatments that enhance brain function.[2]   

Visit the GARD Services tab above to find resources that provide a list of specialty centers located across the U.S and internationally for individuals with Down syndrome.
Last updated: 6/8/2012

  1. Down Syndrome Fact Sheet. National Down Syndrome Society. 2012; Accessed 3/9/2012.
  2. DS 101. Down Syndrome Research and Treatment Foundation. 2012; Accessed 3/9/2012.

Management Guidelines

Clinical Trials & Research for this Disease

  • lists trials that are studying or have studied Down syndrome. Click on the link to go to to read descriptions of these studies.