July 9, 2013

Recruitment begins in study for adults with Down syndrome

Recruitment has begun for the Memory Treatment Research Study for Adults With Down Syndrome, being conducted by Paul Newhouse, M.D., and the Vanderbilt Center for Cognitive Medicine.

Certain types of memory changes in older adults are early warning signs of dementia. In adults with Down syndrome, signs of dementia may also include such behavioral or personality changes as withdrawal, low mood or passivity. Personality or memory changes can begin as early as the mid-30s or middle age in individuals with Down syndrome.

A recent study at the Center for Cognitive Medicine found that nicotine patches improved memory in adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). The new study will evaluate if nicotine patches improve memory functioning in adults with Down syndrome.

Researchers are seeking healthy, non-smoking male and female adults ages 35 and older with Down syndrome who have shown mild changes in memory, concentration, behavior and/or functional dependence. These research candidates must also have a parent or caregiver who will come along for visits.

The study involves six visits with research staff to evaluate the participant’s medical and cognitive status, level of functioning and changes in memory, cognitive attention and brain wave activity. The study also includes a one-month trial of study medication, low-dose nicotine patches.

Research participants will receive monetary compensation for their time.

For more information, or to volunteer for the study, contact program coordinator Asante Kamkwalala at 322-2082.

This study is a collaboration between the Vanderbilt Center for Cognitive Medicine and the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development.