Hadassah

2013 World Down Syndrome Day Conference Hosted by Hadassah Medical Center

Tuesday, Apr 30 2013


As Efrat Dotan, a 29-year-old young woman with Down syndrome, opened the proceedings, the 2013 World Down Syndrome Day conference was launched this month at the Hadassah Medical Center, with over 400 people in attendance.

Typically, this conference is held on March 21st, in recognition of "Trisomy 21," the other name for Down syndrome, indicating that those with the syndrome have three, rather than the usual pair, of #21 chromosomes. This year, however, the conference was delayed in Israel because of the Passover holiday and the visit to Jerusalem of United States President Barack Obama. The concept for an annual conference about Down syndrome was initiated in 2006 by Balbir Singh of the Singapore Down Syndrome Association and Joav Merrick of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) in Israel.

Today, the conference in Israel is hosted with the broad collaboration of Hadassah's National Center for Down Syndrome under the direction of Center Director Dr. Ariel Tenenbaum, along with the NICHD, the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Municipality of Jerusalem, the Jerusalem Down Syndrome Association (Yated), Keren Shalem, and the SHALVA Center in Jerusalem.

Hadassah's National Center for Down Syndrome on Mount Scopus was established nine years ago as a multidisciplinary "one-stop shop" for individuals with Down syndrome of all ages. Since its inception, over 800 families have come to the Center for help, both Israelis and patients from abroad. In Israel, Dr. Tenebaum reports, there are about 7,000 individuals with Down syndrome and each year about 150 new babies are born with the condition.

This year's Conference sessions featured medical advances and new technology in Down syndrome treatment. Dr. Tenenbaum presented new research from Israel and abroad, highlighting a Hadassah study which revealed that individuals with Down syndrome are hospitalized more often and for longer periods of time than those in the general population. In addition, he noted that many more needed to be hooked up to oxygen and a great number needed intensive care. "They have to be watched carefully," he said. "And they all must get vaccinated against the flu."

Yidida Levin-Stranberg from Ariel University and Rina Cohen from the Ministry of Education explained how iPad technology has opened a whole new world for children and youth with special needs, enabling them to communicate and socialize more effectively. Inclusion of those with special needs was the focus of another session, where Danny Katz, Division for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, reported on the joint project of the Ministry, AKIM, and the Israel Defense Forces aimed at integrated people with special needs into the army. Since the project began in 2008, 31 special needs soldiers have been enlisted, with much success. Participants also learned that, in the spirit of inclusion, Israel's basketball team, Hapoel Jerusalem, has adopted the children of SHALVA, Israel's association for physically and mentally challenged children, and is training them for matches.

Among the characteristics that are typical for those who have Down's syndrome-- besides mental retardation--are stunted growth, a flattened nose, a short neck, weak muscle tone, short extremities, small teeth, a large tongue, crossed eyes, and low-set, rounded ears. Other complications which often accompany Down's syndrome are respiratory infections (in children), apnea, low blood pressure, anemia, cataracts, obesity, hearing and vision problems, celiac disease, pancreatic disorders, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, epilepsy, and thyroid disease. Hadassah's comprehensive Down syndrome center simplifies the ordeal for those needing the services of multiple specialists.

Comments

No comments yet.
First Name
Email
Comment
Enter this word:

Related Stories

alt_text

Wednesday, Nov 30 2016

Hadassah Teams Up with Spinal Cord Institute to Study Outcomes of Traumatic Injuries

The medical interventions and outcomes for Israelis with a spinal cord injury (SCI) will now be captured in the Rick Hansen SCI Registry (RHSCIR), thanks to the November 16th launch of a partnership between the Hadassah Medical Organization and the Rick Hansen Institute (RHI), a Canadian-based not-for-profit organization named after the paralympic athlete who suffered a severe spinal cord injury following a car accident.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Thursday, Nov 17 2016

A Birthday Party in Hadassah’s PICU: Helping a Four-Year-Old Recover

Yehoshua "Shuki" Pepper was crossing a Jerusalem street with an older sibling when a car ran him over. He was rushed to Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem's Pediatric Intensive Care Unit in fair condition, but he wasn't speaking and subsequent MRIs of his head injury were worrisome.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Thursday, Nov 17 2016

Ethiopian Pre-Nursing Students: On the Way to Fulfilling a Dream

“I know that some people are fine with looking at a screen all day, but I know I need the human touch--to work with people. I want to be a nurse, " relates Sarah Talala, one of the 18 students of Ethiopian background who were given the opportunity to take a course which enabled them to advance to pre-academic studies at the Hebrew University and then on to nursing school at the Hadassah-Hebrew University Henrietta Szold School of Nursing.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Monday, Nov 14 2016

Granalix BioTechnologies Introduces Food Additive to Protect Against Neurodegenerative Disease

Granalix BioTechnologies, whose founder and Chief Executive Officer is Hadassah Medical Organization Experimental Neurologist Prof. Ruth Gabizon, has launched a food supplement containing pomegranate oil that has proven to protect against neurodegenerative diseases in pre-clinical models.

READ MORE ›

Contact Us

40 Wall Street

New York, NY 10005

support@hadassah.org

More ›

Membership Questions

membership@hadassah.org

(800) 664-5646

Donation Questions

donorservices@hadassah.org

(800) 928-0685

Missions Department

missions@hadassah.org

(800) 237-1517

Show More