• Dr. Gregory De Silva

Treating Down Syndrome: A Real Possibility


This talk was originally given at the Mission Possible Cruise in 2014.

Gregory De Silva, MD., Orthopaedic Surgery, The University of Arizona

It was once believed that Down Syndrome was too complex of a condition to understand and treat. We now know that is not the case. As we progressed from institutionalization of our loved ones to early intervention programs and specialized education, we also started to enhance our biologic and genetic understanding of Trisomy 21. In just the past 10 years, unprecedented progress has been made in the development of new therapeutic approaches to treat DS cognition as a result of this basic science research. We are hopeful that with these and future research breakthroughs, DS cognition will be improved by 10-20%, thus allowing people with DS to live more independent and productive lives. It is unfortunate though, that DS research is disproportionately underfunded by the NIH. We will discuss how this is impacting current research and innovative ways to help move the research forward.

Gregory DeSilva, MD is an orthopaedic hand surgeon at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. Dr. DeSilva earned his BA and MD degrees at the University of Michigan prior to completing his orthopaedic surgery training at the University of Michigan. He did his hand and microvascular surgery training at the Curtis National Hand Center in Baltimore, MD. At the University of Arizona, he is an associate professor and is director of the orthopaedic surgery residency training program.

In addition to running a busy practice, Dr. DeSilva is an experienced researcher. His primary research interests include management of bone loss in the upper extremity, coverage of traumatic wounds, and cost efficiency in patient care. Dr. DeSilva has spoken at numerous local, national, and international meetings. He has won awards for his clinical research.

In addition to being the orthopaedic residency program director at the University of Arizona, Dr. DeSilva sits on numerous hospital committees. Nationally, he works on committees for the Orthopaedic Trauma Association, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, and American Society for Surgery of the Hand. He is past president of the Detroit Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and currently is treasurer for the Southwest Orthopaedic Trauma Association.

Dr. DeSilva is most proud of his wife, Christine, and their 5 children. Gregory, Jr, born March, 2010 with Down Syndrome inspires and motivates the family. Since Gregory Jr.’s birth, the DeSilva’s have been active in DS support, education, and research. Dr. DeSilva is looking forward to speaking as a father and clinical researcher in explaining clinical research, and what is means to us--the Down Syndrome families.

Mission Possible has now been renamed Rosalie's Cruises & Tours

#cognition #learning #memory #speech #research

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