Children With Down Syndrome | Action Medical Research

Children with Down Syndrome

Every year, around 750 babies in the UK are born with Down syndrome, a genetic condition which causes some level of learning disability. The condition is caused by the presence of an extra copy of chromosome 21 in a baby's cells. It occurs by chance at conception and is irreversible. As yet, no one knows what causes the presence of the extra chromosome 21.

Estimates suggest around half to three quarters of children, like Jack above, with Down syndrome suffer from a breathing disorder called obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), which disturbs their sleep and can lead to problems with growth, learning and behaviour.

We are funding research to try and help children like Jack with Down syndrome.

Helping children in special schools to overcome vision problems

Research date: 1 March 2016 - 28 February 2019
Grant amount: £189,315.00

Over 100,000 children and young people attend special schools in the UK.1-4 They are more likely than other children to have vision problems, but evidence suggests their problems often go unrecognised and untreated.5 Professor Kathryn Saunders, of Ulster University, is investigating the benefits of assessing children’s vision within the familiar...

Down syndrome: the mysterious benefits of bifocal glasses

Research date: 1 July 2015 - 13 August 2018
Grant amount: £169,053.00

Around 750 babies with Down syndrome are born each year in the UK.1 Many go on to have problems with their near vision, meaning they need glasses.2 Parents and teachers of some children have noticed they seem to do much better with bifocals than expected, and the children themselves say they prefer bifocals. Dr Maggie Woodhouse, of Cardiff University is...

Down syndrome and obstructive sleep apnoea: better screening to help early diagnosis and unnecessary suffering

Research date: 4 April 2013 - 31 May 2015
Grant amount: £199,752.00

Estimates suggest around half to three quarters of children with Down syndrome suffer from a breathing disorder called obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), which disturbs their sleep and can lead to problems with growth, learning and behaviour.1-4 The disorder can also put extra strain on the hearts of these children. If diagnosed, OSA can be treated. However...

Other related information

Henry’s triple success with school awards after vision boost

Posted: 27 July 2016 14:00 pm
                                                                             Sussex schoolboy Henry Johnston has ended the school year on a high after he...

A better night’s sleep for children like Jack

Posted: 19 April 2016 11:03 am
It took more than two years to diagnose Jack with a breathing disorder that children with Down syndrome are vulnerable to. Research funded by Action could improve routine screening so that in future children get the treatment they need sooner. Jack, pictured below, was just nine weeks old when his parents first noticed his breathing was noisy and he...

Helping children with Down syndrome to see more clearly

Posted: 25 August 2015 16:08 pm
Vision problems are common in children with Down syndrome. New research funded by Action aims to ensure each child gets the best glasses possible. Henry is a typical 12-year-old boy who loves being active, being outside and being with his friends. He has Down syndrome and has worn glasses since he was at nursery, to help him focus and to correct a...

Bifocals bring ‘amazing’ boost to Henry’s sight

Posted: 17 June 2015 09:16 am
Bifocal glasses prescribed by Vision Express in Horsham have made an ‘amazing’ difference to a 12-year-old boy who has Down syndrome. Mum Caroline is thrilled by the progress in Henry’s reading, writing and everyday skills. “He took to the bifocals really quickly and is starting to read,” she says. “He still...

Sussex Mum takes on BUPA 10k for cause close to her heart

Posted: 26 March 2013 16:23 pm
Horsham-based mum Caroline Johnston is taking on the BUPA London 10,000, 27 May 2013, for children’s charity Action Medical Research. Caroline, who also works for the charity, is mum to three boys: Tom (15), Henry (10) and Freddie (6). Henry has Down syndrome and both Freddie and Tom were born prematurely. Tom has recently been diagnosed with...

Down syndrome: screening for breathing problems to stop unnecessary suffering

Posted: 14 March 2013 13:03 pm
Researchers at the University of Southampton are planning to investigate tests for a breathing disorder that affects babies and children who have Down syndrome while they sleep. They aim to provide the missing evidence so that doctors can introduce affordable and simple routine screening. The project, led by sleep specialist Dr Catherine Hill, is funded...

Helping Jack to breathe more easily

Posted: 13 March 2013 14:40 pm
Jack was born with Down syndrome 10 weeks early, weighing just 3lb 5oz. When he was nine weeks old his parents noticed that his breathing was noisy and he snored. They were also worried about how his chest looked. Little did they know that these were the first signs of a serious breathing disorder which would disrupt all of their lives so severely over...
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