Navigation Links
University of Kentucky explores links between Alzheimer's, Down syndrome
Date:11/8/2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 8, 2013) Donna Wilcock of the University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging is the lead investigator on a recently-funded project exploring the links between Alzheimer's disease and Down Syndrome. Elizabeth Head, also of Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, is a co-investigator on the project.

The Global Down Syndrome Foundation, the Alzheimer's Association, and the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome have awarded $1.2 million in research grants to five scientists for innovative investigations that explore the development of Alzheimer's disease in individuals with Down syndrome. The goal is to eventually translate the findings into improved treatments for all people with Alzheimer's. Wilcock has received $150,000 of the funding, and was one of five selected for funding from among 50 applicants.

Alzheimer's Disease and Down Syndrome

Alzheimer's is a fatal, progressive, degenerative brain disease that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's, which is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

Down syndrome is a genetic disorder whereby a person has three copies of chromosome 21 instead of two. This chromosome also contains the gene that encodes the amyloid precursor protein (APP). APP is cleaved to form beta-amyloid, which is the primary component of plaques a lesion found in the brains of people with Alzheimer's that many scientists believe is part of the cause of the disease.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Down syndrome occurs in 1 out of 691 infants in the United States. Due to improved clinical care, people with Down syndrome are now regularly living into their sixth decade of life, which leads many to develop dementia due to Alzheimer's. Autopsy studies show that by age 40 years, the brains of almost all individuals with Down syndrome have significant levels of plaques and tangles abnormal protein deposits that are considered Alzheimer's hallmarks. But despite the presence of these brain changes, not everyone with Down syndrome develops Alzheimer's symptoms.

One of the many questions researchers hope to answer about Down syndrome is why some people develop dementia symptoms and others don't. Researchers are working to answer a similar key question about those who don't have Down syndrome. This may lead to new opportunities for treatment and prevention of the disease.

Wilcock's research will focus on studying inflammation in the blood of aging adults with Down syndrome, some of who have dementia and others who do not. Working together with fellow Sanders-Brown faculty members Elizabeth Head and Frederick Schmitt (who run an NIH funded longitudinal study of aging in adults with Down syndrome and their brain health), Wilcock has identified markers in the blood that predict the inflammatory state of the brain.

Since Down syndrome is associated with the triplication of many inflammatory genes, Wilock hypothesizes that a neuroinflammatory switch may be involved in the transition of a person with Down syndrome being cognitively normal to clinical dementia. She will measure blood markers of inflammation previously identified in Alzheimer's disease to the ongoing longitudinal study of aging in , some of whom have transitioned to dementia, to determine whether inflammatory profiles can be predictive of transition to dementia. The samples to be used in this study are from the Head / Schmitt longitudinal Down's group," said Wilcock.

"Of more than 50 applications, only five grants were funded worldwide for this research initiative. This clearly emphasizes the world-class research that Drs. Wilcock, Head, and Schmitt are doing at the Center. his work is highly significant in that it may lead to more predictive ways to tell whether an individual is at high risk for developing dementia," said Linda J. Van Eldik, director of the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging.


'/>"/>

Contact: Allison Elliott-Shannon
allison.elliott@uky.edu
University of Kentucky
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. University of Cincinnati researchers win $3.7M grant from US Department of Defense
2. Leading experts on congenital muscular dystrophy convene at University of Nevada, Reno
3. Rice University student engineers automate limb lengthening for kids
4. Louisiana Tech University professor earns NSF Early Career Development grant
5. Neuropsychologist receives University of Houstons highest faculty honor
6. University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work announces partnership with MD Anderson
7. Columbia University Medical Center and NY-Presbyterian experts at APA meeting
8. University of Minnesota startup to treat challenging bacterial infection
9. University studies and career expectations of medical students
10. McMaster University researchers discover drug destroys human cancer stem cells but not healthy ones
11. Feola, at University of Kentucky, receives NIH grant to study cystic fibrosis
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/23/2017)... , ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... approved content provider for the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence ... care-related organizations in the National Health Service (NHS) to search, order and purchase ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Dr. David Mahon leads Siena Dental, a comprehensive dental practice ... a 2017 Top Patient Rated Henderson Dentist by Find Local Doctors earlier ... physicians and dentists who have earned high ratings and superior patient reviews from multiple ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... , ... ERT, a global data and technology company that ... leading clinical development service provider, has selected ERT’s Trial Oversight suite as its ... to an array of circumstances including the use of multiple data capture modalities ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Healthcare Research & Analytics® (HRA®) in cooperation ... cancer, has produced a seminal study that asked cancer survivors and their caregivers ... a webinar, Defining Compassionate Care Through the Voices of Patients and Advocates that ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... Vienna, VA – , ... ... is coming. It’s the perfect opportunity for the nation to ... out a college basketball bracket – with its favorite fruit ... Association is encouraging apple lovers to join the “Apple Madness” ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... , Australien, 24. Februar 2017 ... diversifiziertes Unternehmen des Gesundheitsbereiches, ist erfreut, für das ... mit dem entsprechenden Vorjahreszeitraum exzellente Ergebnisse vorlegen zu ... und Aktualisierung zum Wachstum" finden Sie hier ... Gewinn nach Steuern 2,12 Millionen USD (Dez. 2015: 1,04 Millionen USD; ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... 23, 2017  The particle counters market is ... from USD 275.9 million in 2016, at a ... report: http://www.reportlinker.com/p04718602-summary/view-report.html The growing ... R&D, and growth in manufacturing industries in emerging ... for particle counters. On the other hand, technical ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... 2016" report to their offering. ... The latest research Autism Spectrum Disorder Drugs ... benchmarks in the global Autism Spectrum Disorder market. The research ... the key drugs marketed for Autism Spectrum Disorder and their clinical ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: