Cells labeled in green & blue cluster in interesting 'rosette' patterns
Human neural precursor cells grown in a dish in the lab.

Research

Overview of the projects pursued by scientists in the Alana Down Syndrome Center.
Cells labeled in green & blue cluster in interesting 'rosette' patterns
Human neural precursor cells grown in a dish in the lab.

Quick Summary

One project explores the idea that brain waves help connected parts of the brain work together in a coordinated way. Scientists will see if using different ways to make the waves stronger will help the nerve cells in these circuits work together better.

The other main focus is that all cells all have genes that provide instructions for how cells should function. Sometimes cells either have different instructions, or they follow their instructions differently than we expect. Our scientists will study how different types of brain cells follow their instructions in Down syndrome to see if they can help the cells function better, even when their instructions are different.

Research Details

Down syndrome research can have a far-reaching impact. For individuals with Down syndrome, breakthroughs in understanding the basis of the condition create a pathway to longer, healthier, and more deeply fulfilled lives. For families, caregivers, and advocates, it means better approaches to health care and other forms of support. For the millions of people who are impacted by cognitive, psychiatric, and neurodegenerative disorders, the study of Down syndrome could lead to profound mechanistic insights and new treatments that improve cognitive function across diverse brain disorders, potentially including Alzheimer’s disease, autoimmune disorders, and cognitive impairment.

Researchers in the Alana Down Syndrome Center at MIT, will pursue work in two main areas: