Beau M. Ances, MD, PhD, the Daniel J. Brennan Professor of Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, recently received the Shining Star Award from the Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis. Ances was recognized for his work championing the health and well-being of the Down syndrome community through his research and clinical care.
Down syndrome is caused by the full or partial triplication of chromosome 21 and is the most common genetic disorder, with about 1 in 1,000 children born with it each year. Almost all people with Down syndrome will develop Alzheimer’s disease. Ances’ research focuses on how Alzheimer’s manifests in people with Down syndrome. He is a site leader and project leader for the Alzheimer Biomarker Consortium for Down Syndrome that is developing novel methods to detect the earliest changes seen with Alzheimer’s. This work promises to improve patient care and lead to the development of novel therapies for this population.
Ances sees patients with Down syndrome through Barnes-Jewish Hospital, providing much-needed care for this underserved population. People with Down syndrome are at elevated risk of becoming severely ill or dying from COVID-19. In April, Ances helped coordinate a COVID-19 vaccination clinic to ensure that community members with Down syndrome were able to receive their vaccinations.
The Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis is a nonprofit organization that serves, supports and celebrates the lives of individuals with Down syndrome and their families.