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:9/20/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... September 20, 2017 , ... ... asked at a gathering of executive marketers this week about the value of ... , "Everything that has happened in business has brought us to the ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... September 20, 2017 , ... “They Sang At Her Funeral”: a tale of ... revealing the skeletons in their closets. “They Sang At Her Funeral” is the creation ... young and married with five children and twelve grandchildren. Before becoming a writer, Annalise ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... ... September 19, 2017 , ... DeSola Group, a leading ... Denise Flannery, to its strategic advisory and client development team. , In ... with clients across different industries to develop and implement market-justified strategies, modernize and ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... ... September 19, 2017 , ... ... McFarland has joined its executive team as the President of its HealthBI ... care management systems and contact centers. , “Scott is a utility player ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... ... September 19, 2017 , ... MelaKids, a Laredo-based company, has ... filter. When we’re born, Nature gives us a full supply of melanin – ... we continuously lose this natural glare-reducing pigment; however, around the age of thirty, we ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/18/2017)... , Pa. and KALAMAZOO, Mich. , ... Allentown, Penn. , and OptiMed Specialty Pharmacy of ... business partnership to offer a strategic hub service that ... Healthcare,s highly sought-after personal spirometer, Spiro PD 2.0, and ... A spirometer is a medical device used to ...
(Date:9/12/2017)... , Sept. 12, 2017  ValGenesis Inc., the ... (VLMS), is pleased to announce the appointment of ... of its Board of Directors and Chairman of ... enables life science companies to manage their entire ... of paper in this process. Furthermore, ValGenesis VLMS ...
(Date:9/7/2017)... , Sept. 7, 2017  For nearly two decades, New Life Agency ... Assisted Reproduction Insurance industry. Today, New Life Agency announces a powerful three-way ... ... ... http://pharmacarecard.com/ (PRNewsfoto/PharmaCareCard) ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: