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Friday, 20 November 2009

Expert commentary on Stanford research

The Stanford Down Syndrome research Center's study into brain function in a mouse model for Down syndrome (published yesterday) is being reported by media worldwide.

ABC radio's The World Today covered the news yesterday, interviewing Dr Ahmad Salehi from Stanford, and with comments from Dr Bill Warren from James Cook University. Click here for a transcript and a link to the audiofile to replay the segment.

Science News: Interview with Prof William Mobley (former Director of the Stanford Down Syndrome Research Center, now at San Diego, and one of the co-authors):

Science Now: summary of the research study concludes with this comment from another highly respected scientist working in Down syndrome research ....

"It's a very positive development," says Roger Reeves, a geneticist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. He notes that other recent rodent studies have suggested that drugs that target the neurotransmitter GABA, among others, may also help improve cognition in Down syndrome. Although some researchers have begun to test such cognitive-enhancing drugs in people with Down syndrome, Reeves says the studies to date have been small and fraught with methodological problems, so he doesn't consider them to be reliable. Even so, he says, "5 years ago I never would have believed we would be looking at this kind of fundamental therapy for Down syndrome."

Reference for the original research paper:

Salehi, A. et al, Restoration of Norepinephrine-Modulated Contextual Memory in a Mouse Model of Down Syndrome, Science Translational Medicine, 18 November 2009: Vol. 1, Issue 7, pp. 7 - 17 (DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3000258)

The abstract is available online here, with links to purchase options for the full text of the article and supplementary material. The cover image represents Trisomy 21.
The full text will be freely available online one year after publication.

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