MANHASSET, NY – The link between Alzheimer’s disease and the genetic disorder Down syndrome is not immediately obvious, but it is this link that sent members of the ACDS’ (formerly known as the Association for Children with Down Syndrome) Day Hab Program in Plainview on a mission to support Alzheimer’s research. The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research was the recipient of this support, recently receiving a donation from ACDS for its Alzheimer’s research center.
Down syndrome is caused by partial or complete duplication of chromosome 21. After age 40, many people with Down syndrome develop pathologic signs of Alzheimer’s disease, the plaques and tangles, which cause problems with brain cell function. Knowing this was what spurred the ACDS’ decision to dedicate its latest can and bottle drive to the Litwin-Zucker Center for Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders at the Feinstein Institute.
The ACDS Day Hab program offers individuals with Down syndrome who aged out of their educational placement the opportunity to partake in an adult day program that enables them to volunteer in their community, including running continuous bottle and can drives. Over six months, the group members collected 8,000 bottles and cans from various sites across the Northwell health organization which resulted in more than $400 being raised, and recently presented it to Peter Davies, PhD, professor and center head of the Feinstein Institute’s Litwin-Zucker Center for Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders, and leading Alzheimer’s researcher, during an informal meeting.
“Maybe 50 percent of individuals with Down syndrome will develop signs of Alzheimer’s disease as they age,” said Dr. Davies. “We think it’s wonderful that members of ACDS are concerned with this fact and we are honored to receive their support.”
With the donation, Dr. Davies and his team plan to purchase a high resolution monitor for the lab’s microscope to display slides of tau proteins and other samples for scientific discussions with the lab team, and for teaching students and staff.
“Research is accelerated by teamwork and collaboration — success is dependent upon support from the entire community,” said Kevin J. Tracey, MD, president and CEO of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. “We are sincerely grateful to the ACDS. Their participation has been key to the success of this work.”
Photo Caption: (From left to right): ACDS Day Hab Program participants Carrie Swift, Andrew Zaffos, Corrie Last, Lauren Fodors, Stephen Jarosz and Madiha Ghani present their donation for Alzheimer’s research to Feinstein Institute Professor Peter Davies, PhD (back).
About the Feinstein Institute
The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research is the research arm of Northwell Health, the largest healthcare provider in New York. Home to 50 research laboratories and to clinical research throughout dozens of hospitals and outpatient facilities, the Feinstein Institute includes 4,000 researchers and staff who are making breakthroughs in molecular medicine, genetics, oncology, brain research, mental health, autoimmunity, and bioelectronic medicine – a new field of science that has the potential to revolutionize medicine. For more information about how we empower imagination and pioneer discovery, visit FeinsteinInstitute.org.
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