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Saturday, May 25, 2024

UW-Madison researchers study relationship between Down syndrome and Alzheimer's disease

University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers conducted a study, which revealed additional knowledge about the relationship between Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease, according to a university press release.

UW-Madison Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies Sigan Hartley and Associate Professor of Medical Physics and Psychiatry Brad Christian, focused their research on the brain protein .

Amyloid-? is present in excess amounts among Alzheimer’s disease patients and is typically associated with cognition problems, according to the release.

Hartley and Christian’s study showed that individuals with Down syndrome often have high levels of the brain protein amyloid-?. However, these individuals did not experience the damaging consequences of the protein, according to the release.

This new finding inspired questions about the relationship between Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease, making researchers curious about when amyloid-? begins to damage cognition and leads to disorders such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, according to the release.

“Our hope is to better understand the role of [amyloid-?] in memory and cognitive function,” Hartley said in the release. “With this information we hope to better understand the earliest stages in the development of [Alzheimer’s] and gain information to guide prevention and treatment efforts.”

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, according to the release.

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