Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Molecule Links Down Syndrome To Alzheimer's

Date:
December 6, 2005
Source:
King's College London
Summary:
Researchers from the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London have identified a molecule that could be targeted to treat the cognitive impairment in people with Down syndrome. The study, published in Archives of General Psychiatry found that people with Down syndrome have higher levels of myo-inositol in their brains than people without the condition, and that increased levels of this molecule are associated with reduced intellectual ability.

Researchers from the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London have identified a molecule that could be targeted to treat the cognitive impairment in people with Down syndrome. The study, published in Archives of General Psychiatry found that people with Down syndrome have higher levels of myo-inositol in their brains than people without the condition, and that increased levels of this molecule are associated with reduced intellectual ability.

The researchers also suspect that high levels of myo-inositol could play a role in predisposing people with Down syndrome to early-onset Alzheimer's disease. The molecule is known to promote the formation of amyloid plaques - a hallmark of Alzheimer's.

Once they reach 40 years old, almost all people with Down syndrome show the characteristic brain formations of Alzheimer's disease, though they don't all go on to get dementia. The combination of pre-existing mental retardation with an increasing overlying dementia is difficult to treat, and expensive to manage.

Professor Declan Murphy, who led the research said: 'We have shown in this study that adults with Down syndrome have a significantly higher concentration of myo-inositol in the hippocampal region of their brains, and this increase is associated with a reduced cognitive ability. We are now carrying out more studies to see if we can reduce the concentration of myo-inositol in the brains of people with Down's. We hope that if we can do this, it will be a new way of treating this disorder.'

Down syndrome is the most common genetic cause of mental retardation. It is caused when a child has three copies of chromosome 21, rather than the usual two.

One of the genes on chromosome 21 encodes a transporter that pumps the molecule myo-inositol into the brain. The increased levels of myo-inositol in the brains of people with Down syndrome could be explained by the fact that these people have an extra copy of the gene that makes this pump.

###

Notes:
1. The researchers used proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy to measure the concentrations of myo-inositol in the brains of 38 adults with Down syndrome and 42 healthy controls.

2. The cognitive performance of the adults with Down syndrome was assessed using the Cambridge cognitive examination.

3. This press release is based on the following study:
Hippocampal myo-inositol and cognitive ability in adults with Down Syndrome: an in vivo H-MRS study.
Felix Beacher; Andy Simmons; Eileen Daly; Verinder Prasher; Claire Adams; Maria Luisa Margallo-Lana; Robin Morris; Simon
Lovestone; Kieran Murphy; Declan GM Murphy.
Archives of General Psychiatry
Volume 63, No.12, December 2005

The Institute of Psychiatry
The Institute of Psychiatry is part of King's College London and is closely affiliated to the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust. The Institute is a world-renowned centre for treatment, research and training in psychiatry and mental health. The organisation is involved in pioneering new and improved ways of understanding and treating mental illness and brain disease. Its wide-ranging field of work includes depression, eating disorders, brain imaging, genetics and psychosis.

The Institute was one of only two organisations in the field of psychiatry which received a five star rating in the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise conducted by the Higher Education Funding Council of England. The exercise, which is conducted every five years, enables the funding councils to distribute public funds for research selectively on the basis of quality.

King's College London
King's College London is one of the two oldest and largest colleges of the University of London with over 13,800 undergraduate students and nearly 5,700 postgraduates in nine schools of study. It is a member of the Russell Group: a coalition of the UK's major research-based universities.



Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by King's College London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

King's College London. "Molecule Links Down Syndrome To Alzheimer's." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 December 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051206090403.htm>.
King's College London. (2005, December 6). Molecule Links Down Syndrome To Alzheimer's. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051206090403.htm
King's College London. "Molecule Links Down Syndrome To Alzheimer's." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051206090403.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Peace Corps is one of several U.S.-based organizations to pull workers out of West Africa because of the Ebola outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Health officials say 2,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. due to weather, but it's excessive heat and cold that claim the most lives. 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