The mission of the LuMind Research Down Syndrome Foundation is to stimulate biomedical research that will accelerate the development of treatments to significantly improve cognition, including memory, learning and speech, for individuals with Down syndrome in order that they:
• participate more successfully in school;
• lead more active and independent lives;
• and avoid the early onset of Alzheimer's Disease.
OUR VISION: Not a Cure, but Treatments to Improve Memory, Learning, Speech, and Ultimately Independence
LuMind RDS’s vision is a world in which people with Down syndrome are fully included in academic and social environments and where they can live independently as adults, if they so choose. In recent years, private and public services, including early intervention, special education and job training, have greatly improved the lives of those who have DS. Nevertheless, cognitive challenges make it difficult for most to live independently during adulthood, and additionally most of those with DS experience the early onset of Alzheimer's Disease.
LuMind RDS is funding research that applies the information, tools and techniques resulting from the genome project along with recent advances in brain research to the study of cognition in Down syndrome. Our goal is the development of treatments that will improve learning, memory, and speech, and therefore enhance the lives of those with Down syndrome and their families. The majority of individuals with Down syndrome fall into the mild to moderate range of cognitive impairment. For many of these individuals, a 10%-20% improvement in cognitive ability would provide them with the ability to live independently, hold a job and be fully integrated within their communities.
OUR VALUES: Narrow Focus and a Collaborative, Multi-Disciplinary Approach
LuMind RDS believes that a narrow focus is critical to the success of our mission. As a result, the only research that LuMind RDS supports is that which focuses on understanding and improving cognition. Moreover, LuMind RDS supports only researchers and institutions that are committed to seeing their basic research translated into effective treatments.
LuMind RDS believes that medical research is most effective when it is a multi-disciplinary effort. Understanding cognition requires the participation of investigators in a number of disciplines – genetics, molecular and cellular biology, the biology of neural circuits and behavior, as well as collaboration between basic scientists and clinicians. In order to increase the likelihood of a breakthrough in the treatment of Down syndrome, LuMind RDS supports multi-disciplinary research, and encourages frequent collaboration among scientists in different fields and at different research institutions.