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Down Syndrome NSW
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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Research news and commentary #8 for 2014

'Support cells' in brain play important role in Down syndrome
University of California Davis Health System News, 18th July 2014
Researchers from UC Davis School of Medicine and Shriners Hospitals for Children – Northern California have identified a group of cells in the brain that they say plays an important role in the abnormal neuron development in Down syndrome. After developing a new model for studying the syndrome using patient-derived stem cells, the scientists also found that applying an inexpensive antibiotic to the cells appears to correct many abnormalities in the interaction between the cells and developing neurons ...

Lines f Inquiry, Edition 4
Centre for Applied Disability Research, July 2014
If you weren’t among the 360-plus attendees at Centre for Applied Disability Research’s first ever Research to Action conference on 26 and 27 May 2014, you can catch up now on all the news and views.We report on a memorable two days in Sydney, and look at what happens next: how do we make sure the Australian disability research agenda really takes off?

Babies with Down syndrome could help delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease
Annette Karmiloff-Smith, The Conversation, 3rd July 2014
... babies with Down syndrome, who always develop brains like those with Alzheimer’s later in life, don’t always go on to develop dementia. A study that I am involved in, called LonDowNs, is now trying to find out why this may be, with the hope of finding ways to slow down the development of dementia ...

Alzheimer’s Could Be a Form of Down Syndrome
Lisa Marshall, Scientific American, 17th June 2014
Scientists are studying them together to find underlying causes ... Is Alzheimer's disease an acquired form of Down syndrome? When neurobiologist Huntington Potter first posed the question in 1991, Alzheimer's researchers were skeptical. They were just beginning to explore the causes of the memory-robbing neurological disease. Scientists already knew that by age 40, nearly 100 percent of patients with Down syndrome, who have an extra copy of chromosome 21, had brains full of beta-amyloid peptide—the neuron-strangling plaque that is a hallmark of Alzheimer's ...

National Down Syndrome Research Resources
A list of links that will allow you to learn more about the latest national efforts related to Down syndrome research, provided by and recommended by the Down Syndrome Research Program team at Massachusetts General Hospital (Co-directors Drs. Allie Schwartz and Brian Skotko).

Just in case you missed our recent post about this recent archeological discovery:
Oldest case of Down's syndrome from medieval FranceColin Barras, New Scientist, 4th July 2014The oldest confirmed case of Down's syndrome has been found: the skeleton of a child who died 1500 years ago in early medieval France. According to the archaeologists, the way the child was buried hints that Down's syndrome was not necessarily stigmatised in the Middle Ages ... read on here(A link to the original paper is provided.)

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