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Reviews

Original reviews of progress and developments in research and practice.

Research Directions Reviews Series

Advance Online Publication copies of Reviews from the first Research Directions Symposium are now available.

These include reviews by many of the world's leading authorities on the development of people with Down syndrome and covert topics including speech and language, literacy and reading, learning and memory, early intervention and families.

The Down Syndrome Research Directions Symposium 2007 brought together a multidisciplinary group of leading scientists, active in research into Down syndrome and related issues. The symposium reviewed current understanding of Down syndrome and identified promising future research directions.

The symposium was hosted by Down Syndrome Education International in association with the Anna and John J Sie Foundation and with the generous support of the Down Syndrome Foundation of Orange County (USA) and the National Down Syndrome Society (USA).


Literacy skills

Reading is often a strength for young people with Down syndrome, yet not every child with Down syndrome excels at reading, nor are the optimal teaching methods clear. This Review by Maggie Snowling and colleagues at the University of York, UK, looks at a number of the challenges facing research on literacy development for children with Down syndrome. It then examines what research to date suggests about literacy skills, effective interventions and where future research directions lie.

This Review is part of the Research Directions Symposium Series, examining our current understanding of Down syndrome and identifying future directions for research to improve the lives of people with Down syndrome.


The challenges and potential of using mouse models in Down syndrome research

Photograph of a mouseMouse models are a standard tool in the study of many human diseases, providing insights into the normal functions of a gene, how these are altered in disease and how they contribute to a disease process, as well as information on drug action, efficacy and side effects. Our knowledge of human genes, their genetics, functions, interactions and biochemistry, has dramatically improved over the last few years. Recently, several different drugs have been shown to rescue learning and memory deficits in a major mouse model of Down syndrome.

This Review by Katheleen Gardiner looks at the challenges inherent in using mouse models in Down syndrome research and then describes the successful molecular/genetic interventions that are cause for cautious optimism. The paper also predicts critical molecular abnormalities that can be tested for relevance to learning and memory and that are potential targets of existing pharmacotherapeutics.

This Review is part of the Research Directions Symposium Series, examining our current understanding of Down syndrome and identifying future directions for research to improve the lives of people with Down syndrome.

New from DSE: See and Learn Speech

See and Learn Speech is designed to help parents and educators support children with Down syndrome to develop clearer speech.

See and Learn Speech offers a structured approach to support speech development, working in small steps towards clearer speech production.

Now available as teaching kits and apps.

Find out more...