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 September 2, 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 September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. 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:
from the past week

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