Possible Treatment for
Down's Syndrome Retardation may Involve Interference with Gene - Same
Gene might Cause Alzheimer's
July 6th 2006
University researchers believe they may be able to “reverse the
cognitive decline” that frequently affects those with Down’s syndrome in
middle age. "We may now have the opportunity to make a big difference
in people's lives," according to neurologist William Mobley, MD, PhD.
"If we can decrease the expression of this gene we may be able to
provide something more than supportive care to people with Down
Mobley and his
team believe they have found the gene that when overexpressed, causes
neurons responsible for attention and memory to shrivel and stop
functioning normally. It may be possible to “interfere” with the gene.
Down’s syndrome is
the leading cause of mental retardation in the United States. There are
more than 300,000 people nationwide have Down syndrome, which is caused
by an extra copy of chromosome 21, giving them a total of three. Up
until now, there has been little molecular or Neurological research done
on the subject.