Alzheimer’s and Down Syndrome Scientific Workshop

Down Syndrome and Alzheimer’s Disease

Chicago, IL

September 13-14, 2012

The Global Down Syndrome Foundation and the Alzheimer’s Association are hosting the first-ever workshop to bring together key scientists from the fields of Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s research in Chicago. With the overwhelming evidence of a strong connection between Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s, and acceptance of the idea that studying people with Down syndrome is key to discovering a cure for Alzheimer’s, the workshop aims to plot the future of services in this emerging field of research.


Individuals with Down syndrome (DS) will show Alzheimer’s disease pathologies, plaques and tangles, and the majority of these patients will develop AD by the 5th or 6th decade.  Due to better clinical care, DS patients are living longer and facing the prospect of developing AD.  This meeting is to explore what is known about DS with respect to how it may relate to familial and sporadic AD.  We are interested in understanding the similarities and differences between these diseases to help us identify new targets and potential therapies.  More specifically, we will explore whether the abnormal developmental changes observed in DS are related to underlying AD pathophysiology or if they are two separate diseases caused by a common genetic change.  We want to explore value of Down syndrome animal models compared to current AD models.   Additionally, we would like to know what therapeutic strategies have been identified in DS that may have potential in AD.  This meeting will explore whether the therapeutic treatments developed in AD could be tested in DS patients. What challenges lay ahead in measuring cognitive changes in Alzheimer’s and Down Syndrome populations?  Hopefully, this meeting will identify specific initiatives that could be developed to have these two fields work together.


Opening remarks:
Dean Hartley, Ph.D. (Alzheimer’s Association)
Tom Blumenthal, Ph.D. (Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome)

Closing remarks:
Larry Gold, Ph.D. (Univ. of Col., Boulder)

Panel Discussions

Moderator: Dr. Cindy Lemere
Moderator: Dr. Wayne Silverman
Moderator: Dr. William Mobley


William Mobley, M.D., Ph.D. (Univ. of California, San Diego)
How are AD and Down Syndrome Related?
Benjamin Tycko, M.D., Ph.D. (Columbia University)
What role do genetics and epigenetics play in AD and DS?
Huntington Potter, Ph.D. (Univ. of Col., Denver)
How does chromosome instability and trisomy 21 lead to AD?
Katheleen Gardiner, Ph.D. (Univ. of Colorado, Denver)
How does genes expressed effect cognitive deficits?
Ralph Nixon, M.D., Ph.D. (New York University)
How might abnormal APP expression cause AD in DS?
Khalid Iqbal, Ph.D. (IBR)
What role does tau play in DS?
Gilbert DiPaolo, Ph.D. (Columbia University)
What role does lipid metabolism play in AD vs. DS?
Ann-Charlotte Granholm, Ph.D. (Medical Univ. of South Carolina)
Are there advantages of using DS mouse models for AD research?
Roger Reeves, Ph.D. (Johns Hopkins)
Are DS animal models a good model for translational research?
Marwan Sabbagh, M.D. (Banner Institute)
Could amyloid imaging in DS patients help our understanding of AD?
Cindy Lemere, Ph.D. (Harvard Medical School)
How is the pathology in DS similar or different than AD?
Ira Lott, M.D. (UC Irvine)
Is the development of cognitive deficits similar in DS as seen in AD?
Lucille Esralew, Ph.D. (Trinitas Regional Medical Center)
How do cognitive tests compare between AD and DS?
Wayne Silverman, Ph.D. (Johns Hopkins)
What are the individual differences in the DS population that pose problems for studying AD?
Seth Ness (Janssen)
Clinical trials in DS – successes and failures?
Mike Krams (Janssen)
Prevention trails from an industries perspective?
Thomas Wisniewski, M.D. (NYU)
Targets and Therapies from other neurodegenerative diseases?