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:4/28/2016)... BANGALORE, India , April 28, 2016 ... subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: INFY ), and Samsung ... global partnership that will provide end customers with a ... and payment services.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130122/589162 ... for financial services, but it also plays a fundamental part ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... April 27, 2016 Research ... Multi-modal Biometrics Market 2016-2020"  report to their offering.  ... The analysts forecast the global multimodal ... 15.49% during the period 2016-2020.  Multimodal ... sectors such as the healthcare, BFSI, transportation, automotive, ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... Research and Markets has announced ... 2016-2020,"  report to their offering.  , ... global gait biometrics market is expected to grow ... 2016-2020. Gait analysis generates multiple variables ... to compute factors that are not or cannot ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/27/2016)... READING, England , May ... ( http://www.indegene.com ), ein führender Anbieter von ... Life-Science-Branche, Pharmaunternehmen und Gesundheitsorganisationen, und TranScrip ( ... innovativen wissenschaftlichen Support-Services für den gesamten Produktlebenszyklus, ... heute den Ausbau ihrer bestehenden Allianz an. ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... , May 26, 2016 Despite ... see value in this space. Today,s pre-market research on ActiveWallSt.com ... Radius Health Inc. (NASDAQ: RDUS ), Cerus Corp. ... ARWR ), and Five Prime Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ... technical briefings at: http://www.activewallst.com/ ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... Thailand (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... participation of a Thai delegation at BIO 2016 in San Francisco. Located at ... sector will be available to answer questions and discuss the Thai biotechnology and ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... LAKE CITY, UTAH. (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... efficiencies in healthcare information exchange, today announced that Charles W. Stellar has been named ... as WEDI’s interim CEO since January 2016. As an executive leader with more than ...
Breaking Biology Technology: