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For people with Down syndrome, family members, caregivers and professionals.

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Author: Brian Chicoine, MD - Medical Director, Adult Down Syndrome Center

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a health issue in the intestines (bowels). It is not clear how common it is in people with Down syndrome (DS).  However, we suspect that IBS is more common i

Swallowing Problems (Dysphagia)

Author: Brian Chicoine, MD - Medical Director, Adult Down Syndrome Center

Swallowing problems (dysphagia) are common in people with Down syndrome (DS). In our large cohort study that reviewed health data from people cared for within Advocate Health, swallowing problems were

Stroke and Vascular Disease in Down Syndrome Webinar Recording

Author: Jonathan Santoro, MD - Director of Neuroimmunology and Demyelinating Disorders Program at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Assistant Professor of Neurology at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California

The webinar below was hosted by the Down Syndrome Association of Los Angeles. The topic was "Stroke and Vascular Disease in Down Syndrome: How to Identify and Prevent." The presenter

Use of Probiotics by People with Down Syndrome

Author: Adult Down Syndrome Center - Resource

What are probiotics? Probiotics are foods or supplements that contain live microorganisms (e.g., bacteria). Foods with labels that say "live and active cultures" contain probiotics.

Tourette Syndrome and Down Syndrome

Author: Brian Chicoine, MD - Medical Director, Adult Down Syndrome Center

Tourette syndrome (TS) is a hereditary, chronic neuromuscular condition consisting of motor and vocal tics. Tics are sudden, involuntary, brief, repetitive movements and vocalizations.  Motor

Liver Fibrosis

Author: Brian Chicoine, MD - Medical Director, Adult Down Syndrome Center

Fibrosis of the liver can be thought of as a "scar" in the liver that results from chronic liver injury. It is similar to scarring that may form on the skin or in the lung or other o

Treating Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease with Surgery

Author: Brian Chicoine, MD - Medical Director, Adult Down Syndrome Center

We were asked about surgical options for treating gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD occurs when stomach contents, including acid, go "backwards" from the stomach up into t

Seizures in People with Down Syndrome and Alzheimer's Disease

Author: Brian Chicoine, MD - Medical Director, Adult Down Syndrome Center

We were sent a question about seizures in a person with Down syndrome who developed Alzheimer’s disease. The individual continued to experience seizures despite being treated with l

Colon Cancer Screening for People with Down Syndrome

Author: Brian Chicoine, MD - Medical Director, Adult Down Syndrome Center

Is colon cancer screening recommended for people with Down syndrome? Please note that this handout discusses screening colonoscopies (i.e. colonoscopies performed to identify pre-symptomatic or unreco

Seizures

Author: Aashima Ghai, DO - Family Medicine Resident, Adult Down Syndrome Center

Definition: Seizures are waves of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. The brain has multiple nerve cells that create and receive electrical impulses which help the cells communicate with each o

Lactose Intolerance

Author: Brian Chicoine, MD - Medical Director, Adult Down Syndrome Center

People with Down syndrome can experience a variety of gastrointestinal issues. One of them is intolerance to foods containing lactose. Lactose is a sugar found in dairy products like milk and ice crea

Psychogenic Non-Epileptic Seizures or Fake Seizures

Author: Brian Chicoine, MD - Medical Director, Adult Down Syndrome Center

We periodically get asked questions about “fake seizures.” They have also been called “pseudo-seizures” but are now more accurately called non-epileptic seizure

Strokes and Down Syndrome

Author: Brian Chicoine, MD - Medical Director, Adult Down Syndrome Center

Strokes occur when the blood supply to the brain is compromised, which deprives the brain of needed oxygen and glucose. Strokes can be caused by atherosclerotic disease (a disease in which the inside

Startle Reflex and Myoclonus

Author: Brian Chicoine, MD - Medical Director, Adult Down Syndrome Center

We were asked a question about increased “startle reflex” in a 30-year-old. Please note: The information below is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a su

Celiac Disease

Author: Robert Campbell, DO - Family Medicine Resident, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital

What is celiac disease? Celiac disease is characterized by inflammation of the lining of the small intestine that occurs when the intestine is exposed to gluten (see more on gluten below). Specificall

Constipation in Down Syndrome

Author: Samantha Ghanayem-Bouikidis, MD - Family Medicine Resident, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital

Constipation is a common problem in people with Down syndrome as well as the general population. Studies show that chronic constipation affects between 2 and 27% of the general population. It is thoug

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Author: Allison Schnitzler, MD - Family Medicine Resident, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), also known as acid reflux and heartburn, is common among people both with and without Down syndrome. One study showed that as many as 44% (almost one half!) of

Celiac Disease and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Author: Brian Chicoine, MD - Medical Director, Adult Down Syndrome Center

Can celiac disease cause obsessive compulsive disorder? This question was recently asked by a family member of a person with Down syndrome.  I have reviewed several articles and other informa

Celiac Testing in Adolescents and Adults with Down Syndrome

Author: Brian Chicoine, MD - Medical Director, Adult Down Syndrome Center

The starting place for making the diagnosis of celiac disease is the history and physical exam. The symptoms of celiac disease can vary widely (see resource on the description of celiac disease). The

Celiac Treatment

Author: Brian Chicoine, MD - Medical Director, Adult Down Syndrome Center

How is celiac disease treated? The treatment for celiac disease is diet. It requires strict adherence to eliminating gluten in the diet. How do I get started? The recommended first step is a consultat

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Please note: The information on this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for a medical, psychiatric, mental health, or behavioral evaluation, diagnosis, or treatment plan by a qualified professional. We recommend you review the educational material with your health providers regarding the specifics of your health care needs.

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