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LuMind RDS Foundation

In the past 30 years, there has been outstanding progress in increasing the life span of people with Down syndrome.  The mission of the LuMind Foundation is to provide these now longer lives with more opportunities and greater independence.

LuMind Foundation was established in 2004 to stimulate biomedical research that will accelerate the development of treatments to significantly improve cognition, including memory, learning and speech.  The founders of the LuMind Foundation know there is a future in the knowledge unlocked by the mapping of our DNA. 
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When LuMind RDS Foundation was started as the Down Syndrome Research & Treatment Foundation and Research Down Syndrome, it was imperative that funds be invested in the Discovery phase of the Research and Development Pipeline because, at the time of our founding, there were no biological mechanisms proven to be associated with impaired cognition in Down syndrome. The foundation’s initial funding investments paid off well, as today there are five such mechanisms identified.

In 2017, as part of the newly defined vision, the LuMind RDS Foundation Board of Directors established Four Scientific Research Categories to guide the expansion of the research agenda beginning in 2018:

1) Prevent Alzheimer onset
2) Improve cognition
3) Develop gene therapies
4) Advance understanding.

The Research and Development Pipeline

LuMind RDS intends to support industry-led clinical trials of therapeutic approaches by: supporting the development of adaptive assessment scales, which account for the variation in symptoms; establishment of a clinical trial network, and a developing a registry for rapid enrollment in trials.
To gain a better understanding of cognition in Down syndrome, LuMind RDS will support research on early intervention; validation of specific cognitive targets, the unique sleep patterns and techniques to improve sleep among those with Down syndrome; and finding anti-inflammatory treatments that target specific genes associated with interferon.
Gene therapy is an exciting avenue for possible treatment. In females, the second X chromosome is silenced. Research into some specific genes, Dyrk1A and USP16, may show that the same could be achieved with the third 21st chromosome. Research will be funded on restoring the right level of specific gene(s).
Discover novel targets (stem cells, sequencing/phenotyping)
Improve mouse models to better test novel targets.
Targeting these important developmental periods in the lives of people with Down syndrome may be a more successful strategy for improving overall quality of life. As an individual grows and matures, there are unique processes that underlie cognitive development and function.
To learn more about LuMind RDS Foundation, please visit www.lumindrds.org