At the beginning of June, AMIPI Foundation sent 3 representatives to Chicago to attend the second international conference on Trisomy 21. The Society for Trisomy 21 Research organized this congress, focusing on "Paving the way for Therapy", and invited numerous associations and researchers from different sectors to attend, including Dr Marie Claude Potier who is the General Secretary of the Society and runs the Paris office. She is also a researcher at ICM and a long-term partner for AMIPI in this field.
For the Foundation, this was an excellent opportunity to discover the latest developments connected to research into this pathology, to present its work into therapies related to manual work and to develop contacts which we hope will lead to further scientific partnerships.
The Foundation is especially interested in the work being done by 3 researchers : Stefano Vicari(1), Pamela Banta Lavenex(2) et Angela Lukowski(3)
They are revealing different learning characteristics among people with Trisomy 21. Their discoveries cover the fields of reflex memory, the conditions under which they learn best, the interaction between spatial memory and visual memory and particularly how social situations help them to develop their cognitive skills. Marie-Laure Blandin who manages the Foundation's training department explains that "the foundation's experimental research over the last 50 years has revealed the same results. This is thanks to our training programs which resulted in AMIPI being recognized in 2005 as a company which contributes to the country's welfare program for handicapped people."
Caroline Gaborieau, assistant director for quality adds : "The researchers were delighted to discover that their findings were being applied in a real-world situation, in a project such as the one piloted by AMIPI. We made several new contacts, agreed to continue working together and several of them plan to come to France to see for themselves the work we are doing at the Foundation."
By working with the scientific community, AMIPI is drawing the attention of researchers to the importance of work, especially manual work in a industrial context, in the treatment of cognitive learning difficulties. In this context the foundation provides a perfect environment in which to observe and develop techniques in this field. As a result of our presence at the congress we aim to work in partnership with our new contacts to make further progress with our training programs and exchange new ideas.
(1) Stefano Vicari (Dpt director for childhood neuropsychiatry - Children Hospital Bambino Gesu, Roma)
(2) Pamela Banta Lavenex (Researcher in cognitive development - University of Lausanne)
(3) Angela Lukowski (Vice President associate professor in a department of psychology and social behavior - University of California)