Gene tied to Down syndrome may suggest way to new therapy

Scientists have identified a gene on the extra chromosome causing Down syndrome that may be responsible for the early aging and cognitive defects in people with the condition, a finding that could lead to new treatments.

The gene, called Usp16, may hinder the body’s ability to make stem cells needed to maintain tissues and organs, according to research published today in the journal Nature. That includes development of organs such as the brain while in the uterus, said Michael Clarke, a senior study author.

The findings in mice and human cells are the first to help explain why people with Down syndrome show signs of early Alzheimer’s disease and age faster, the authors said.

Read the full, original story here: “Gene Tied to Down Syndrome May Suggest Way to New Therapy” 

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