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Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Studying Alzheimer’s in people with Down syndrome could prove beneficial
The Alzheimer’s Association, in collaboration with the several Down syndrome organizations, recently convened an international workshop of leaders in Alzheimer’s disease and Down syndrome research to create a roadmap for advancing Alzheimer's treatment and prevention for people with Down syndrome as well as the rest of the population. People with Down syndrome run a very high risk of developing Alzheimer’s due to a genetic abnormality inherited from their parents. Researchers are working to call attention to the connection between Alzheimer’s and Down syndrome and to better coordinate global research efforts.
Brain plaque may help predict Alzheimer’s disease
The largest analysis to date of amyloid plaque in the brain confirms that the presence of the protein may help predict who will develop Alzheimer’s and determine who has the disease. Data from nearly 9,500 people on five continents shows that amyloid can appear 20 to 30 years before symptoms of dementia; that the vast majority of people with Alzheimer’s have amyloid; and that the ApoE4 gene, known to increase Alzheimer’s risk, greatly accelerates amyloid accumulation.