Brain gene may be key to developing medications for Down syndrome

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Although it’s clear that Down Syndrome is a genetic disorder caused by the occurrence of an extra chromosome, the exact genes, and their functions, related to the condition have remained unknown. [R]esearchers have [now] discovered that a gene related to brain development may also lead to the intellectual disabilities associated with Down Syndrome.

The new research has uncovered that the gene also serves a second purpose and also controls the formation of neural circuits in the brain, and in the cases of Down Syndrome individuals, leads to intellectual disabilities. It’s for this reason, the study explained, that some individuals with Down Syndrome show only the intellectual disabilities and not the physical characteristics: The different traits associated with the condition are not all controlled by the same genes.

Now…the next step is to uncover exactly how it affects fetal brain development. In doing so [scientists] hope the research may eventually lead to medications that could possibly improve mental health and mean a better quality of life for those with certain forms of intellectual disability.


The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Down Syndrome Update: Gene Associated With Intellectual Disabilities Is Identified; Could Lead To Genetic Treatment

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