Can exercise improve cognition for people with Down syndrome? A new study aims to find out Social Sharing

Published by: CBC
Written by: Angelina King

The Canadian Down Syndrome Society (CDSS) is partnering with a British university and a cognitive brain-training app to launch an international research study looking at a potential link between exercise and improved cognitive function for those with Down syndrome.

The study aims to prove what the CDSS says is “anecdotal evidence” that exercise can help with memory, speech, social skills and other abilities in people with Down syndrome. The charity says physical activity hasn’t been a priority because the research hasn’t been done.

“There is very little empirical evidence in this area to help support the medical community in recommending [exercise] as part of the imperatives in the treatment programs,” CDSS Toronto board member Ben Tarr said.

The study, called Mindsets, launched its pilot phase on March 21, which is World Down Syndrome Day. Researchers are looking to recruit at least 200 participants to begin the full eight-week portion next month. Click here to read the rest of the story.

Mosaic Down Syndrome

There are 3 types of Down syndrome disorders with mosaic being the rarest. 90 to 95% of people with Down syndrome have trisomy for chromosome 21. According to researchers, 2-4% of people with Down syndrome have mosaicism.

What is Down Syndrome?

Down Syndrome  is a chromosomal disorder caused by an extra cell division that results in an extra 21st chromosome. This causes developmental delays both intellectually and physically. It is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition and is estimated that 1 in every 700 babies in the United States are born with Down syndrome.

Mosaicism

Mosaicism or Mosaic Down syndrome develops when there is a mixture of cells meaning some cells contain the extra copy of chromosome 21 while other cells are typical chromosomes.

Prevalence
  • It is estimated that 2 or 3 children diagnosed as having Down syndrome carry the mosaic form.
  • Mosaicism for trisomy 21 was first reported in 1961 by CM Clark, JH Edwards and V. Smallpeice who describe an 11-month old female with good muscle tone, no congenital heart defects, meeting developmental miles yet with eyes similar to babies born with Down syndrome.
  • By 1964, 24 cases of mosaicism were now on record.
  • Little is still known on the similarities and differences between trisomy 21 and mosaic trisomy.
Signs and Symptoms

People with Mosaic Down symptoms often have the same health issues as individuals with trisomy but less severe. This includes:

  • sleep apnea
  • heart issues
  • visual impairments
  • immune disorders
Physical Characteristics

People with Mosaicism vary in physical appearance depending on the number of trisomy cells.

People with Mosaic Down syndrome typically have a higher IQ and are more likely to hold a fulltime job compared to people with trisomy 21 Down syndrome.

Screening Test

Screening test are usually done as routine test during pregnancy health visits.

Updated 5/20/21

Developmental Disability Awareness Ribbons

Awareness ribbons in recent history began when Penney Laingen used the ribbon as a symbol of vigilance ( from the song, Tie a Ribbon Around the Ole Oak Tree) when she tied a yellow ribbon around the oak tree in her front yard when her husband, Bruce Laingen. a top-ranking U.S. diplomat was a hostage during the Iran hostage crisis in 1979. This was followed by the red ribbon during the AIDS epidemic and the pink ribbon bringing awareness to breast cancer.

Ribbons have long been used as a way to bring awareness and raise consciousness for a cause. Ribbons and disability awareness have evolved from bringing awareness to various disability topics such as sensitivity, inclusion and advocacy to including various formats. People are using social media as a means to promote awareness including using hashtags and setting up Facebook pages specifically for disability awareness.

Disability awareness and acceptance is being done through the use of awareness ribbons.

The Ribbons below focus on ribbons that bring awareness to developmental disability and special needs issues.  including individuals with neurodevelopmental and intellectual disabilities. Awareness is only a part of educating and training people on disability awareness. Training activities should also include acceptance and understanding.

Awareness Ribbons

Autism Spectrum Disorder- The Autism ribbon continues to evolve overtime. The puzzle piece was first used in 1963 by a parent and board member of the National Autistic Society in London indicating the puzzling, confusing nature of autism. In 1999, the puzzle piece ribbon was adopted as the universal sign of autism awareness by the Autism Society reflecting the complexity of the autism spectrum. Overtime, the both the puzzle and ribbon have become a symbol for seeing autism as something that is puzzling an needs to be fixed rather than acceptance. A more positive symbol includes the infinity loop used as a symbol for acceptance rather than awareness.

Angelman Syndrome- Blue

Apraxia- Light Blue

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity (ADHD)- Orange

Cerebral Palsy- Green

Cri Du Chat- Blue

Developmental Disabilities- Silver or light blue

Di George Syndrome- Teal

Down Syndrome- Blue and Yellow

Dravet Syndrome- Purple

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy- Light Green

Epilepsy- Purple

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder- Silver and Blue

Fragile X Syndrome- Teal

Hydrocephalus- Light Blue

Prader Willi- Orange

Rare Disease- Zebra Stripe

Rett Syndrome- Purple

Sensory Processing Disorder- Blue or Orange

Sickle Cell Anemia- Burgundy

Spina Bifida- Yellow

Spinal Cord Injuries- Green

Tourette Syndrome- Teal

Trisomy 18- Light Blue

Turner Syndrome Purple Butterfly

Williams Syndrome- Burgundy

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Burgundy Awareness Ribbon

  • Sickle Cell Anemia
  • Williams Syndrome

 

Blue Awareness Ribbon

  • Angelman Syndrome
  • Cri Du Chat

Green Awareness Ribbon

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Spinal Cord Injuries

Light Blue Awareness Ribbon

  • Apraxia
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Intellectual Disabilities
  • Trisomy 18

Orange Awareness Ribbon

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Prader Willi Syndrome
  • Sensory Processing Disorder

Teal Awareness Ribbon

  • Fragile X Syndrome
  • DiGeorge Syndrome
  • Tourettte Syndrome

 

 

 

Purple Awareness Ribbon

  • Dravet Syndrome
  • Epilepsy
  • Rett Syndrome
  • Turner Syndrome

Blue and Yellow Awareness Ribbon

  • Down Syndrome

Light Green Awareness Ribbon

  • Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

 

Silver and Blue Awareness Ribbon

  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder

Yellow Awareness Ribbon

  • Spina Bifida

Observance and Awareness Month

February

Turner Syndrome Awareness

March

Trisomy18

Kidney Awareness

Multiple Sclerosis

Cerebral Palsy

Developmental Disabilities

April

Autism

Auditory Processing Disorder

May

Apraxia

Cri Du Chat

Cystic Fibrosis

Williams Syndrome

June

Dravet Syndrome Day

July

Fragile X Syndrome

National Craniofacial Awareness and Prevention Month

September

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Day

Hydrocephalus

Sickle Cell Anemia

Spinal Cord Injuries

October

ADD/ADHD

Down Syndrome

Rett Syndrome

Sensory Processing Disorder

November

DiGeorge Syndrome

Epilepsy

 

Updated 1/2/2021

Special Needs Article Resources

The following are helpful articles on a variety of topics from children with disabilities to adults with physical disabilities.


Submitted by: Jennifer McGregor

Explaining special needs to your child: 15 great children’s books– This article provides information on books to help promote understanding and tolerance of children with disabilities. Books include topics on ADHD, autism, visual and physical disabilities and invisible disabilities such as anxieties.

How to Remodel for Accessibility– Includes steps to remodeling your home for wheelchair accessibility

Developing Your Blind Child’s Sleep Schedule– Although this article focuses on the sleep pattern of children who are visually impaired, it is also helpful for children with autism who display an irregular sleeping pattern.

How to Exercise if You Have Limited Mobility– An article that focuses on fitness tips for people with physical disabilities including the three different types of exercises.

January Special Needs Article Links

Welcome to the January links. These are articles that I tweeted and or received from viewers during the month of January on special needs and developmental disability topics. Enjoy!

specialneedslinks

10 alarm clocks for children with sensory challenges (Friendship Circle)

65+ ways to help students with sensory challenges at school (Mama OT)

ABL Denim creates sensory-friendly jeans for kids with autism (The Mighty)

ADHD: Younger children may be diagnosed (Medical News Today)

Boy with Down syndrome inspires mom to open Fairfield dance studio (Journal News)

Britain’s criminal justice system doesn’t know what to do about autism (Independent)

How to recognize sensory issues in your child (Integrated Learning Strategies)

Oral motor games for children young and old (Special-ism)

Organization and attention challenges related to sensory processing disorder (Sugar Aunts)

New technology aims to give unique voices to people who can’t speak (WHOTV)

The aging of the population with Down syndrome is a positive sign (STATNews)

The best tech jobs for individuals with autism (Forbes)

The truth about autism and sleep (The Huffington Post)

Top autism tips for professionals  (Network Autism)

Understanding the battle of an aggressive autistic child (iTech Post)