He is teaching the medical community to up their expectations of life with Down syndrome.
Mr. C is 70 and has no signs of dementia.
What's his secret?
In the world of Down syndrome, 'Mr. C' is a rarity. A real person whose progress has been tracked for the past 16 years, at seventy, 'Mr. C' has well surpassed the average life expectancy of a person with Down syndrome, currently in the late fifties, but in the teens when 'Mr. C' was born. Further, 'Mr. C' does not exhibit clinical symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, which is almost a given for people with typical Down syndrome over 65 yeas of age. 'Mr. C,' while remaining nameless, puts an optimistic face on the future of aging for people with Down syndrome, as scientists ask the critical question: What is it about 'Mr. C's' individual characteristics and experiences that have made him not only live longer, but also age successfully despite having Down syndrome?
"'Mr. C' paints an optimistic picture for people with Down syndrome who are aging, and says that an ordinary person with Down syndrome ought to be able to make it to seventy, once you find 'Mr. C's' secret," explains Dr. Sharon J. Krinsky-McHale, lead author of the study and Research Scientist at the New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities.
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