Alzheimer's and Down Syndrome 'linked'
Researchers have discovered a genetic mechanism that links Alzheimer's disease and Down syndrome.
Scientists from the University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute discovered that the mechanism that destroys brain cells is responsible for the early onset of Alzheimer's in those with Down Syndrome , as well as the development of the condition in the general population.
This research found that excessive production of protein Regulator of Calcineurin 1 instigates a chain reaction that kills neurons in the brain in people with both conditions.
Dr Weihong Song, leader of the research, said: "Neuronal death is the primary reason for the memory loss and other cognitive impairments of Alzheimer's Disease, and it's the main reason people with Down Syndrome develop Alzheimer's Disease long before most people, usually in their 30s."
Meanwhile, researchers from Scripps Research Institute have developed a blood test which could revolutionise the diagnosis of Alzheimer's.
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