Posted November 6, 2015

Temple researchers discover link between Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease

The groundbreaking study may mark a turning point for Down syndrome survivors.

A three-dimensional scan of neurons firing inside a brain.
iStock images
A study led by researchers at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University reveals a new link between Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease. 
Patients with Down syndrome who survive into adulthood often face the additional medical challenge of early-onset dementia, which is caused by a buildup of toxic plaques in the brain. The researchers were able to make a connection between a defect that occurs in an enzyme in patients with Down syndrome that also happens to malfunction in Alzheimer’s disease.
Armed with the new knowledge, researchers believe that they will be able to develop a targeted therapy to safely mitigate dementia in patients with Down syndrome.