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Research Study Announcement

(No longer enrolling participants)

Woman on swingThe Waisman Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center are seeking adults (ages 30 and above) with Down syndrome to participate in a research study involving an MRI and a PET scan. The research study will be aimed at imaging amyloid in the brains of healthy patients with Down syndrome. Amyloid plaques are found in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease. The gene that makes amyloid protein is on chromosome 21. Individuals with Down syndrome have an extra chromosome 21 and may also develop plaque deposits (which are seen in Alzheimer's disease) much earlier than people without Down syndrome. These amyloid plaques can begin to develop in the brain many years before any memory loss occurs. Until this time, determining the presence of amyloid plaques in the brain could only be analyzed through autopsy.

The study will consist of two visits which can be completed during a single, two-day stay in Madison or Pittsburgh. The first visit will take at least 4 hours and includes describing the study, reviewing the procedures of the MRI and PET scan via video and pictures, signing a consent form, having a relative or caregiver complete a set of questionnaires, and having the adult with Down syndrome complete a range of neuropsychological tests. The second visit will take around 4 hours and includes reviewing the procedures of the tests, a MRI which will take approximately 30 minutes, and a PET scan which will take approximately 1 hour. In addition, a blood sample will be drawn.

Participants will be compensated for their time and expenses. Funds are available for participants and caregivers to stay overnight. This will allow the two study visits to be completed over two consecutive days.

The following link displays a video illustrating the PET and MRI imaging procedures for this study. The imaging exams that our subjects will be undergoing are the same as those shown in the video.


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