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 28, 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 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. 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