People with Down syndrome are particularly susceptible to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Now researchers are turning to those with the chromosomal disorder to identify new treatment options.

Johnson & Johnson is currently embarking on a three-year pilot study examining the early changes seen in those with Down syndrome as they develop dementia. And the effort could be just a sign of what’s to come.

Researchers say they would like to establish a much larger partnership between advocates, drugmakers and the government to track upwards of 1,000 people with Down syndrome from a young age in order to test treatments that may be able to prevent the brain changes associated with dementia.

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The potential is huge, researchers say, given that dementia affects as many as 75 percent of adults with the chromosomal disorder.

“The study we’re proposing would provide insight into treating Alzheimer’s, but it might help individuals with Down syndrome as well,” one researcher told Reuters. To read more click here.