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Prevention of Alzheimer’s disease in people with Down’s syndrome

Compiled by Stacey Atkinson, matron/manager-inpatient services for people with learning disabilities and lead nurse, St Mary's Hospital, Leeds

The Journal of Neurology has looked at how to minimise the risks and effects of Alzheimers in people who have Down's Syndrome

The genetics of Downs syndrome is responsible for many people with the syndrome developing Alzheimers disease. It is the location of the amyloid precursor protein on chromosome 21, which increases the prevalence of someone with Downs syndrome developing Alzheimers disease, while other genetic factors and environmental issues are responsible for the age of onset.

The neuropathy of Alzheimers disease develops before the disease manifests and research has been undertaken which aims to examine the prospects of developing preventive treatments for Alzheimers disease in people with Downs syndrome.

Drug-use exploration

Four different means of minimising the risks and effects of Alzheimers in people with

...

The Journal of Neurology has looked at how to minimise the risks and effects of Alzheimers in people who have Down's Syndrome


Down's syndrome occurs when there is a third copy of chromosome 21. Picture: Science Photo Library

The genetics of Down’s syndrome is responsible for many people with the syndrome developing Alzheimer’s disease. It is the location of the amyloid precursor protein on chromosome 21, which increases the prevalence of someone with Down’s syndrome developing Alzheimer’s disease, while other genetic factors and environmental issues are responsible for the age of onset.

The neuropathy of Alzheimer’s disease develops before the disease manifests and research has been undertaken which aims to examine the prospects of developing preventive treatments for Alzheimer’s disease in people with Down’s syndrome.

Drug-use exploration

Four different means of minimising the risks and effects of Alzheimer’s in people with Down’s syndrome have been explored. They include the exploration of BACE inhibitors, which modify the distribution of amyloid proteins, another is the lowering of amyloid levels.

The researchers are also looking at the action of anti-inflammatory drugs, used as a means of preventing the inflammation caused by amyloid proteins and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain. The possible use of immunisations/vaccines are also being explored with view to building the immunity of people with Down’s syndrome against developing Alzheimer’s disease. 

 


Castro P, Zaman S, Holland A (2016) Alzheimer’s disease in people with Down’s syndrome: the prospects for and the challenges of developing preventative treatments. Journal of Neurology. doi:10.1007/s00415-016-8308-8

Compiled by Stacey Atkinson, matron/manager-inpatient services for people with learning disabilities and lead nurse, St Mary's Hospital, Leeds

 

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