Skip to main content
  1. Life
  2. Family & Parenting
  3. Special Needs Kids

Down syndrome and the early onset of Alzheimer's disease

See also

Recent news has highlighted the link between Down syndrome and the early onset of Alzheimer's disease, although diagnosis is sometimes difficult due to the inherent developmental disability. Researchers have been aware of the link for over 50 years but the more definitive knowledge about the relationship is fairly new.

Down syndrome occurs when a person has three copies of chromosome 21 instead of the usual two copies. It is chromosome 21 that has the gene, which prompts the development of lesions in the brain common to Alzheimer's. Autopsies show that by age 40, folks with Down syndrome have high levels of plaques, but not all people with Down syndrome have Alzheimer's symptoms.

The question becomes why some people with Down syndrome develop the disease and others do not, as well as why people without Down syndrome end up with Alzheimer's disease. The good news is that not every one with Down syndrome will develop Alzheimer's and as research continues, the hope to eradicate Alzheimer's remains alive.

Comments? Questions? Contact Pat Wright.

Advertisement

Life

  • Johnny Manziel
    Should Johnny Manziel apologize for his hard partying over the offseason?
    Today's Buzz
  • Crop circles
    Similar crop circles appeared in Germany and England within days of each other
    Camera
    19 Photos
  • Advanced placement
    The AP program is gaining traction as a key component in college admissions
    Camera
    5 Photos
  • Beach hats
    Beat the heat with the best summer beach hats for women
    Camera
    Beach Hats
  • Expectations for ministry
    Pastor preaches to newly ordained ministers about expectations for ministry
    Camera
    6 Photos
  • Medical symptoms
    See which symptoms should cause you to seek a doctor’s attention right away
    Camera
    6 Photos

Related Videos:

  • Chagas in US: Deadly 'kissing bug' disease on the rise, doctors warn [Report]
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518343282" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518343282&autoStart=true"></div>
  • Do you remember more if the memory is personally relevant?
    <div class="video-info" data-id="517368989" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=517368989&autoStart=true"></div>
  • Greenwich Village, tree-lined street
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518343322" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518343322&autoStart=true"></div>