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Intellectual Disabilities in Down Syndrome from Birth and throughout Life: Assessment and Treatment

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889450459 Year: Pages: 179 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-045-9 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-07-06 13:27:36
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Research on the multiple aspects of cognitive impairment in Down syndrome (DS), from genes to behavior to treatment, has made tremendous progress in the last decade. The study of congenital intellectual disabilities such as DS is challenging since they originate from the earliest stages of development and both the acquisition of cognitive skills and neurodegenerative pathologies are cumulative. Comorbidities such as cardiac malformations, sleep apnea, diabetes and dementia are frequent in the DS population, as well, and their increased risk provides a means of assessing early stages of these pathologies that is relevant to the general population. Notably, persons with DS will develop the histopathology of Alzheimer’s disease (formation of neuritic plaques and tangles) and are at high risk for dementia, something that cannot be predicted in the population at large. Identification of the gene encoding the amyloid precursor protein, its localization to chromosome 21 in the 90’s and realization that all persons with DS develop pathology identified this as an important piece of the amyloid cascade hypothesis in Alzheimer’s disease. Awareness of the potential role of people with DS in understanding progression and treatment as well as identification of genetic risk factors and also protective factors for AD is reawakening. For the first time since DS was recognized, major pharmaceutical companies have entered the search for ameliorative treatments, and phase II clinical trials to improve learning and memory are in progress. Enriched environment, brain stimulation and alternative therapies are being tested while clinical assessment is improving, thus increasing the chances of success for therapeutic interventions. Researchers and clinicians are actively pursuing the possibility of prenatal treatments for many conditions, an area with a huge potential impact for developmental disorders such as DS. Our goal here is to present an overview of recent advances with an emphasis on behavioral and cognitive deficits and how these issues change through life in DS. The relevance of comorbidities to the end phenotypes described and relevance of pharmacological targets and possible treatments will be considerations throughout.Research on the multiple aspects of cognitive impairment in Down syndrome (DS), from genes to behavior to treatment, has made tremendous progress in the last decade. The study of congenital intellectual disabilities such as DS is challenging since they originate from the earliest stages of development and both the acquisition of cognitive skills and neurodegenerative pathologies are cumulative. Comorbidities such as cardiac malformations, sleep apnea, diabetes and dementia are frequent in the DS population, as well, and their increased risk provides a means of assessing early stages of these pathologies that is relevant to the general population. Notably, persons with DS will develop the histopathology of Alzheimer’s disease (formation of neuritic plaques and tangles) and are at high risk for dementia, something that cannot be predicted in the population at large. Identification of the gene encoding the amyloid precursor protein, its localization to chromosome 21 in the 90’s and realization that all persons with DS develop pathology identified this as an important piece of the amyloid cascade hypothesis in Alzheimer’s disease. Awareness of the potential role of people with DS in understanding progression and treatment as well as identification of genetic risk factors and also protective factors for AD is reawakening. For the first time since DS was recognized, major pharmaceutical companies have entered the search for ameliorative treatments, and phase II clinical trials to improve learning and memory are in progress. Enriched environment, brain stimulation and alternative therapies are being tested while clinical assessment is improving, thus increasing the chances of success for therapeutic interventions. Researchers and clinicians are actively pursuing the possibility of prenatal treatments for many conditions, an area with a huge potential impact for developmental disorders such as DS. Our goal here is to present an overview of recent advances with an emphasis on behavioral and cognitive deficits and how these issues change through life in DS. The relevance of comorbidities to the end phenotypes described and relevance of pharmacological targets and possible treatments will be considerations throughout.

Molecular, Cellular and Model Organism Approaches for Understanding the Basis of Neurological Disease

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889451739 Year: Pages: 183 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-173-9 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-08-28 14:01:09
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The advent of next-generation sequencing technologies has resulted in a remarkable increase our understanding of human and animal neurological disorders through the identification of disease causing or protective sequence variants. However, in many cases, robust disease models are required to understand how changes at the DNA, RNA or protein level affect neuronal and synaptic function, or key signalling pathways. In turn, these models may enable understanding of key disease processes and the identification of new targets for the medicines of the future. This e-book contains original research papers and reviews that highlight either the impact of next-generation sequencing in the understanding of neurological disorders, or utilise molecular, cellular, and whole-organism models to validate disease-causing or protective sequence variants.

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