Sunday, February 28, 2010

Pondering: Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s

There are a lot of articles out there with tidbits of this and that about Down syndrome and other diseases and conditions.  There was the one last year about how people with DS lend a “cancer clue.”  It is interesting to read this kind of thing, I admit.

This week I heard about news of a new link between DS and Alzheimer’s Disease.  It’s a reality that people with DS develop Alzheimer’s far earlier than the average person, often between 30 and 40 years of age, but now they’ve noted some more interesting connections.

The article starts this way…

Nearly 20 years ago Huntington Potter kicked up a storm of controversy with the idea that Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s were the same disease. Now the evidence is in: He was right.

But this is the paragraph that caught my attention…

The first paper, by Antoneta Granic and colleagues published online Dec. 23 in Molecular Biology of the Cell, provides the mechanism behind previous work by Dr. Potter’s laboratory showing that all Alzheimer’s disease patients harbor some cells with three copies of chromosome 21, known as trisomy 21, instead of the usual two. Trisomy 21 is a characteristic shared by all the cells in people with the birth defect Down syndrome. This earlier work demonstrated that Alzheimer’s disease could be considered a late onset form of Down syndrome.

“…a late onset form of Down syndrome…” 

How interesting… I’m still thinking about this, processing, pondering, and researching.  But it is interesting.


  1. That IS interesting. I'm not sure how to feel about it. If you find any more info about it please post.

  2. I'd never heard that before. Wow! I find that very interesting. I once had a doctor tell me that all his alzheimers patients had an elevated aluminum level. I wonder if people with DS also have the same elevated levels...?


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