Navigation Links
Understanding and treating the cognitive dysfunction of Down syndrome and Alzheimer's disease
Date:3/1/2012

Philadelphia, PA, March 1, 2012 Down syndrome (DS) is the most common genetic disorder in live born children arising as a consequence of a chromosomal abnormality. It occurs as a result of having three copies of chromosome 21, instead of the usual two. It causes substantial physical and behavioral abnormalities, including life-long cognitive dysfunction that can range from mild to severe but which further deteriorates as individuals with DS age.

It is not currently possible to effectively treat the cognitive impairments associated with DS. However, these deficits are an increasing focus of research. In this issue of Biological Psychiatry, researchers at Stanford University, led by Dr. Ahmad Salehi, have published a review which highlights potential strategies for the treatment of these cognitive deficits.

The authors focus on insights emerging from animal models of Down syndrome and outline the structural abnormalities in the DS brain. They also discuss studies that have linked the overexpression of the amyloid precursor protein gene, called APP, to the degeneration of neurons in mice. These findings have led to the development of therapeutic treatments in mice, which now must be tested in humans.

"For more than a decade, we have been working on identifying a strategy to treat cognitive disabilities in our Down syndrome mouse models," said Dr. Salehi. "Considering the research and results with mouse models as an indication of success of a strategy in humans, we are ever closer to finding ways to at least partially restore cognitive function in children and adults with Down syndrome."

Interestingly, this research is also providing insights into Alzheimer's disease (AD), the archetypal disorder of late life. All adults with Down syndrome develop AD pathology by age 40, and there are some remarkable similarities in the brain degeneration and cognitive dysfunction of individuals with DS and those with AD.

The leading AD hypothesis posits that it is caused by increasingly elevated levels of amyloid-related proteins, which are toxic to nerve cells in the brain. These same proteins also accumulate in the brains of people with DS because they are made by the APP gene, which is located on chromosome 21. Individuals with AD don't have the extra chromosome, of course; rather, it is mutations in APP that appear to cause the brain degeneration associated with AD.

Dr. John Krystal, editor of Biological Psychiatry, commented: "The convergence of research on Down syndrome and Alzheimer's disease highlights a central point that cannot be overstated. When we understand the fundamental biology of the brain, important new conceptual bridges emerge that guide new treatment approaches."

Salehi added, "In the near future, we may very likely look back with the perspective that Down syndrome represents an example of how families of affected individuals came together and by supporting basic research, changed the course of a disorder that was considered untreatable for more than a century."


'/>"/>

Contact: Rhiannon Bugno
biol.psych@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-0880
Elsevier
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. A breakthrough in understanding the biology and treatment of ovarian cancer
2. Understanding how bacteria come back from the dead
3. Shane Ross garners CAREER Award to advance understanding of fluid flows from blood inside the body to oil spills in bodies of water
4. Recent study by Mars, Incorporated and partners underscores importance of metabolism in understanding health benefits of cocoa flavanols
5. Understanding causes of obesity in Aboriginal children
6. Scripps Research scientists provide new understanding of chronic pain
7. A firmer understanding of muscle fibrosis
8. Step forward in foot-and-mouth disease understanding
9. Lighting the way to understanding the brain
10. A new model for understanding biodiversity
11. Introducing L-PEACH: Tool for understanding peach tree development
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/24/2017)... Controller General of Immigration from Maldives Mr. Mohamed Anwar and ... international IAIR Award for the most innovative high security ePassport and eGates  ... ... Maldives Immigration Controller General, Mr. Mohamed Anwar ... right) have received the IAIR award for the "Most innovative high security ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... VILNIUS, Lithuania , March 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... identification and object recognition technologies, today announced the ... development kit (SDK), which provides improved facial recognition ... safety cameras on a single computer. The new ... algorithms to improve accuracy, and it utilizes a ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... PMD Healthcare announces the release of its ... System (WMS), a remote, real-time lung health monitoring and ... is a Medical Device, Digital Health, and Chronic Care ... innovative solutions that empower people to improve their healthcare ... developed the first ever personal spirometer, Spiro PD, which ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2017)... As Ebola resurfaces in the Democratic ... suspected cases now reported, a new analysis of the Ebola ... correlation between the 2014 and 2017 outbreaks of the disease.  ... 2012-13, which preceded the 2014 outbreak. An analysis of the ... counts in 2014-15, which again precedes the current outbreak in ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... ... month its 20th anniversary, marking the occasion with a strong presence at Bio-IT ... Welcome Reception and further extends an invitation to all attendees to view ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... ... technology applications, has announced a facility expansion to accommodate its rapid growth. , ... of new workspace and renovation of the existing areas. The expansion includes, a ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... Switzerland (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2017 , ... ... forces machine manufacturers to re-engineer their control technology again and again. METTLER TOLEDO ... problem for machine manufacturers. The videos illustrate how integration of the ACT350 into ...
Breaking Biology Technology: