Navigation Links
Kids With Down Syndrome Might Get Help Learning
Date:6/4/2010

Tests with mice suggest potential avenue for improving mental functioning, researchers say

FRIDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers say they improved the learning capacity of mice afflicted with a disease similar to Down syndrome by interfering with the production of a specific protein.

The "beta-amyloid" protein is found in mice and people, the study authors noted, and is thought to play a role in the cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer's and Down syndrome.

The study, reported online June 3 in the journal PLoS One, was conducted using 4-month-old mice that had a genetic anomaly that caused them to display learning disabilities similar to those in children with Down syndrome.

This preliminary study raises the intriguing possibility that drugs that lower beta-amyloid levels might offer some benefit to children with Down syndrome, study co-author Dr. Craig Powell, an assistant professor of neurology at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, said in a news release.

The authors point out that Down syndrome is a genetic disease caused by the presence of an extra copy of chromosome 21, which leads to the above-normal production of beta-amyloid.

With that in mind, Powell and his colleagues treated young mice with the experimental drug DAPT, which blocks beta-amyloid production by targeting a key enzyme, gamma-secretase.

After four days of treatment, the mice experienced a 40 percent drop in beta-amyloid levels. In turn, maze navigation tests revealed an improvement in their ability to learn tasks, so that eventually their performance was deemed as good as that of mice with no genetic impairment.

The researchers cautioned, however, that for the time-being this particular approach is a blunt instrument that blocks not only the targeted enzyme's ability to spark beta-amyloid production but also a host of other critical tasks the enzyme performs, many of which are central to proper brain function.

The team plans to seek out other drugs that might knock out only beta-amyloid production, while leaving the enyzme's other functions intact.

More information

For more on Down syndrome, visit the National Down Syndrome Society.



--Alan Mozes



SOURCE: UT Southwestern Medical Center, June 3, 2010, news release


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Choir Singing May Relieve Irritable Bowel Syndrome
2. A Protein Links Alzheimers, Down Syndrome
3. Behavior therapy effective in reducing tics in children with Tourette syndrome, study finds
4. Restless Legs Syndrome Can Have Family Ties
5. UT Southwestern researchers uncover Fragile X syndrome genes role in shaping brain
6. Brain Develops Differently in Fragile X Syndrome
7. Getting Closer to Cause of Tourette Syndrome
8. Study of Williams syndrome patients reveals specific genes role in intelligence
9. Nutrition researchers to develop new growth charts for children with Down syndrome
10. Guillain-Barre Syndrome Very Rare After H1N1 Vaccine
11. Gulf War Syndrome Is Real, But Causes Unclear: Report
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... Bio-Logic Aqua® ... for forty years and a trainer for Ageless Grace ( http://www.agelessgrace.com ) to ... Show on May 16, 2016. , Formerly a Northwestern University Literature Professor, Kinst ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... Forest Lake, Minnesota (PRWEB) , ... May 24, ... ... his 13th mission trip to the Dominican Republic on September 21, 2016. Dr. ... Biology from Northwestern, serves with ChiroMission, a not-for-profit organization promoting health and wellness ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... Clarion ... and safety labels , has been featured in the National Electrical Manufacturers ... eiXtra e-newsletter provides electroindustry professionals with manufacturer, regulatory, and standardization news. The publication ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Researchers from Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) presented ... complications from percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). The data, presented at the annual meeting ... a 40% reduction in risk-adjusted bleeding event rates over a two-year period across ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... Applications such as ... are widely used for cell and protein analysis. Keeping updated on practical considerations ... efficiency in these areas. , LabRoots introduces a new complementary interactive virtual ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/20/2016)... May 20, 2016 The Biotech ... believe that the industry is not far from recovering. ... ActiveWallSt.com featured the following four equities: Anacor Pharmaceuticals Inc. ... ATHX ), Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ... INFI ). Sign up for your free trading alerts ...
(Date:5/19/2016)... 19,2016 Cellvizio Highlighted in ... Week Meeting and 91 st Congress of ... Kea Technologies (Euronext: MKEA, OTCQX: MKEAY) inventor of ... announced that its Cellvizio platform is being highlighted ... during the month of May. The first meeting ...
(Date:5/19/2016)... , May 19, 2016 , The ... bstract # 8006)   The conclusions ... of the treated patients with 90% of the m ... months or more . Seventy two percent of the patients had ... announces the positive results from a Phase I study of plitidepsin in combination ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: