About Down's Syndrome : Neurodegeneration in Aging Down’s syndrome (NiAD) – A Longitudinal Study of Cognition and Biomarkers of Alzheimer’s Disease

Why do some people with Down’s syndrome have memory problems when they get older? Brian cells communicate with each other via electrical signals; could some abnormal electrical activity explain the memory problems?

To answer these questions, we want to see how the brain activity of people with Down’s syndrome changes with age using non-invasive scalp electroencephalography (EEG) recordings. We will also assess memory performance using specially designed psychometric tests (“quizzes”).

In an EEG study session, we will ask participants to wear a special cap so we can record the brain’s electrical activity. This cap has sensors on its surface and we will apply gel close to the scalp to make sure the sensors can record clearly; the cap does not hurt (see a picture of April wearing the cap!). Participants will be seated and asked to, 1) listen to sounds generated in earphones at a comfortable volume and, 2) watch a silent movie while a computer records their brain activity.

The EEG session will take place at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge and will take approximately 2.5 hours. We will also ask the participant and their accompanying family members/support worker questions about their memory. Travel costs will be reimbursed.

Please contact the researchers and they can tell you more about the study or send you information in Easy Read format. You can also follow Cambridge Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities Research Group on Twitter.

Study participants will need to be 25 years old and up.

April Le:  AL804@cam.ac.uk

Dr Shahid Zaman: shz10@medschl.cam.ac.uk


The Researchers

April Le: I am a PhD student in the University of Cambridge Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities Research Group.  I am from the United States and enjoy meeting the wonderful people participating in our research. I’m interested to understand how the electrical activity of the brain of people with Down’s syndrome changes as they get older.

Shahid Zaman: I am a consultant psychiatrist and a neuroscientist interested in understanding the neuronal mechanisms that underlie deficits in learning and memory in people with intellectual disabilities and exploring ways of ameliorating or treating these. I am currently involved in research in dementia in people with Down’s syndrome.

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