Impact of COVID-19 on the Mental Health of People with Down Syndrome

Brown, Ruth C


This request for supplemental funding is associated with active grant “Depression, Stress, and Down Syndrome: A Multimethod Approach to Assessment” (K08 HD092610). This supplemental funding project, which is directly related to Down syndrome, will expand the scope of our research by: (1) conducting a longitudinal mental health surveillance study of the COVID-19 pandemic on caregiver stress and the mental health of their children with Down syndrome; (2) ascertaining a sample of 50 adolescents and young adults with DS reporting the highest and lowest COVID-related stress exposure to conduct a detailed psychiatric profile and buccal cell collection, and (3) assessing DNA methylation, telomere length, and micronuclei frequency in this ascertained sample to identify potential biomarkers associated with COVID-related stress. These studies could aid understanding stress-related sequalae of COVD-19 on psychiatric functioning and acquired genetic/chromosomal instability in people with Down syndrome, and lay the groundwork for efforts to prevent or ameliorate these effects.

Down Syndrome Publications