Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Down Syndrome Study Reveals Possible Method For Detecting Initial Stages Of Alzheimer's

Date:
December 23, 2003
Source:
University Of California - Irvine
Summary:
UC Irvine College of Medicine researchers conducting the first longitudinal brain imaging study of adults with Down syndrome may have found a way to detect Alzheimer's disease before symptoms of dementia begin to set in.

Irvine, Calif. -- UC Irvine College of Medicine researchers conducting the first longitudinal brain imaging study of adults with Down syndrome may have found a way to detect Alzheimer's disease before symptoms of dementia begin to set in.

In the study, brain scans of adults with Down syndrome showed increased metabolic activity in the temporal cortex – the same region of the brain where Alzheimer's disease commonly develops. The researchers speculate that Alzheimer's may begin with a similar metabolic increase, because Down syndrome often leads to dementia during adulthood

If so, a common PET scan procedure could allow early detection of Alzheimer's.

Study results appear in the Dec. 23 issue of Neurology.

According to Richard Haier, professor of pediatrics and principal investigator of the study, neurons work efficiently in normal brains, but in diseased brains, damaged neurons have to work harder to maintain their effectiveness, as revealed by the metabolic rate increases in Down syndrome brains. This damage most likely comes from the progressive accumulation of both senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, the two lesions associated with both Down syndrome and Alzheimer's. When the damaged neurons are ultimately destroyed by these lesions, the metabolic rate will decrease, as was observed in the Alzheimer's-diseased brains scanned for the study.

"These findings suggest that Down syndrome dementia and possibly Alzheimer's disease may begin when neuronal damage in the temporal cortex region reaches the point where increased metabolism can no longer compensate," Haier said. "But to confirm this, further imaging tests must be done on the Down syndrome people as dementia progresses."

Nearly 350,000 Americans have Down syndrome, which is a genetic disorder caused by the inheritance of three copies of the 21st chromosome. People with Down syndrome show some of the brain changes of Alzheimer's as early as age 12. Nearly all Down syndrome patients have the brain changes of Alzheimer's disease by age 40. Despite this, not all individuals with Down syndrome develop symptoms of the disorder.

###

The National Institute of Child Health and Development is providing funding for this study.

Dr. Michael Alkire, Nathan White, Melina Uncapher, Elizabeth Head, Dr. Ira Lott and Carl Cotman of UCI assisted Haier with the study.

About the University of California, Irvine: The University of California, Irvine is a top-ranked public university dedicated to research, scholarship and community. Founded in 1965, UCI has more than 23,000 undergraduate and graduate students and about 1,300 faculty members. The third-largest employer in dynamic Orange County, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $3 billion.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of California - Irvine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of California - Irvine. "Down Syndrome Study Reveals Possible Method For Detecting Initial Stages Of Alzheimer's." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 December 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/12/031223063136.htm>.
University Of California - Irvine. (2003, December 23). Down Syndrome Study Reveals Possible Method For Detecting Initial Stages Of Alzheimer's. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/12/031223063136.htm
University Of California - Irvine. "Down Syndrome Study Reveals Possible Method For Detecting Initial Stages Of Alzheimer's." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/12/031223063136.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) Breeze, a portable breathalyzer, gets you home safely by instantly showing your blood alcohol content, and with one tap, lets you call an Uber, a cab or a friend from your contact list to pick you up. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A new study says the season you're born in can determine your temperament — and one season has a surprising outcome. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Movies Might Desensitize Violence For Parents, Not Just Kids

Movies Might Desensitize Violence For Parents, Not Just Kids

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A study suggests that parents become desensitized to violent movies as well as children, which leads them to allow their kids to view violent films. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins