Current Studies
Wayfinding study
This study is being conducted by Dr. Ed Merrill at the University of Alabama and is designed to look at how individuals learn to navigate through an environment, a skill known as wayfinding. Past research has shown that wayfinding is difficult for individuals with intellectual disability. This study will help researchers understand how wayfinding knowledge develops with the long-term goal of developing ways of training individuals with difficulty in this area.
Upcoming Studies
Signs of Cognitive Decline in Adolescents and Young Adults with Down Syndrome
This study will be conducted by the Conners Lab at the University of Alabama as a pilot study for a potential grant-funded study in the future. One characteristic of Down syndrome is accelerated aging, which can include declines in memory and other cognitive skills. Another is heightened risk for Alzheimer’s Dementia. In this study, we are trying to identify very early signs of cognitive decline in people with Down syndrome. Identifying these could lead to future treatments that could slow the decline. The goals of the study are 1) to identify early declines in memory and language, 2) to identify early behavioral changes (like sleep patterns and social engagement), and 3) to link the first two goals to symptoms of mild cognitive impairment. Mild cognitive impairment is a diagnosable condition and a risk factor for Alzheimer’s Dementia.

In this study, parents will complete a set of surveys on their son or daughter’s behavior and abilities. Also, individuals with Down syndrome will complete a battery of tasks measuring language and memory. The measures will be repeated after 1-2 years. For more information please contact the registry!