University of Alabama at Birmingham opens adult Down Syndrome clinic

UAB (University of Alabama at Birmingham) has opened one of the few clinics in the nation dedicated to providing services to adult patients with Down Syndrome.

Because of improvements in diagnosis, treatment and management of the condition while young, Down Syndrome patients are now routinely living into adulthood, and have the same risks for adult diseases as the rest of the population.

“Children's hospitals, pediatricians and our medical system have done such a wonderful job in caring for children with Down Syndrome that many are now living into their 40's, 50's or more,” said clinic director Edward J. Lose, M.D., assistant professor of genetics at UAB. “Our clinic provides services related to both their Down Syndrome, but also for general adult conditions they may be facing.”

Lose says conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes are among the conditions adult Down patients now face, along with a need for basic primary care. And these adults still need care targeted specifically at complications arising from their Down Syndrome.

“Our clinic provides an array of services necessary to manage adult Down Syndrome,” said Lose, “as well as providing primary care for anything from serious illness to a bout with the flu.”

Lose says the problem for Down patients in finding a primary care physician is more acute in rural areas than in metropolitan communities such as Birmingham.

“Many adult Down patients do receive outstanding primary care from local physicians in the greater Birmingham area,” he said. “For those patients, our clinic is designed to simply help treat facets of their Down Syndrome. But for those without a primary care physician, we can turn to the UAB Department of Family and Community Medicine to provide those services.”

The clinic offers services from a number of health disciplines, including occupational therapy, physical therapy, nutrition, psychology, social work, genetics and audiology. Lose says he hopes to add financial planning services in the near future.

Lose says the clinic, which now meets two days per month, will see patients from Alabama and surrounding states. The UAB Departments of Genetics, Pediatrics (General Pediatrics and Child Neurology) and Family and Community Medicine, along with the Division of Preventive Medicine, have collaborated to establish the clinic. The clinic is funded by a grant from the Health Services Foundation.

Down Syndrome is one of the most common genetic conditions, affecting more than 350,000 people in the United States.

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Comments

  1. Jenny Moore Jenny Moore United States says:

    My son trent is 17 yrs old with down syndrome, diabetes, celiac disease, thyroid, vitamin deficiancy - folic acid, in depends - no control of blatter or bowls, sleeping disorder and protein high in urine...I would like to visit the clinic and talk with professionals on my sons physical and mental problems and capabilities...Here is my information:

    Parent: jenny moore hm - 205-491-4911 cell - 205-541-7392....
    Son - patient - trent moore bod: 4-23-92

    I am a single parent asking for any help possible for my son. He is my life and i dont know what i would do without him...Any information or help would be so appreciated.....Dr. Joyce atchison suggested that we contact you for help...Alot has happened to trent within the last 5 years and specialist and his main phycians cant determine what happpend....But are on the top of his health...They are wonderful, but would love the chance to be part of your facility for my life (trent)....Thank you, look forward to hearing from you.....Jenny moore

  2. Mom Mom United States says:

    I am thrilled about having An Adult Down Syndrome Clinic in our area!  However, a pet peve of mine is please put the person first.  Our kids are kids first NOT Downs!  We are not Downs patients.  We are patients with Down Syndrome.  You can't manage Adult Down Syndrome maybe behaviors and medical needs of Adults with Ds.  

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News-Medical.Net.
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