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Trouble Spot in Brain for Down Syndrome Identified

[Source:  Medical X-Press]

downNew brain research has mapped a key trouble spot likely to contribute to intellectual disability in Down syndrome. In a paper published in Nature Neuroscience, scientists from the University of Bristol and UCL suggest the findings could be used to inform future therapies which normalise the function of disrupted brain networks in the condition.

Down syndrome is the most common genetic cause of intellectual disability, and is triggered by an extra copy of chromosome 21. These findings shed new light on precisely which part of the brain’s vast neural network contribute to problems in learning and memory in Down syndrome which until now, have remained unclear.

Using genetically engineered mice that carry a copy of this additional human chromosome, the researchers showed that increased expression of chromosome 21 genes disrupts the function of key brain circuits involved in learning and memory.
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