New research into the causes of Down’s syndrome

Scientists in London have released new research which shows that genetic factors that cause Down’s syndrome, are more varied than previously thought.

Using mice models, the researchers at University College London (UCL) found that multiple genes contribute to problems in memory and decision-making associated with Down’s syndrome. Previous thinking was that a single gene, or single genes, was the likely cause of intellectual disabilities associated with the condition.

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“This important work shows for the first time that it’s possible to separate aspects of cognition to different regions of human chromosome 21 (the mouse equivalent of). This means that scientists can now use these findings to go forward to find the individual genes responsible for each aspect.

Although this research is a huge step forward, it is important to realise that much more work needs  to be done. But, knowing about these key genes will greatly improve the chances of the development of therapies that might help to improve some of the learning and memory issues associated with Down’s syndrome.”

Carol Boys, Chief Executive 

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