Scientist discovers why drug boosts memory in Down syndrome mice
(Medical Xpress) -- A University of Colorado School of Medicine researcher who found a drug that improved memory in mice with Down syndrome has unlocked the mystery of how it works.
In a new study published in Learning & Memory, Alberto Costa, MD, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Medicine and Neuroscience, and Graduate Assistant Jonah Scott-McKean found the mechanism behind excessive levels of long-term synaptic depression, or LTD, in mice with Down syndrome. LTD makes transmission of messages along the brains synapses more difficult and is frequently referred to as a mechanism for forgetting.
The study proposes that the excess LTD is likely caused by the overrepresentation of a limited subset of genes contained in the extra chromosome carried by these mouse models of Down syndrome. The investigators also found that when the drug memantine was administered to these mice at doses similar to those used to treat Alzheimers disease, LTD levels fell significantly. Therefore, Costa and Scott-McKean hypothesize that similar phenomena might also occur in the brains of persons with Down syndrome.
"We found the mechanism by which LTD is exaggerated in a mouse model of Down syndrome," Costa said. "We wanted to see if memantine would normalize the brain function of these mice. We found that the drug brings this important physiological parameter associated to learning and memory ice to near normal levels."
Costa found that this exaggerated LTD in Down syndrome mice does not share the same cellular mechanism as a similar phenomenon seen in a mouse that mimics the human disorder known as fragile X syndrome, which is the second most common form of intellectual disability of genetic origin. Costa had earlier discovered that memantine, currently used to treat patients with Alzheimers disease, improved memory in mice with Down syndrome but exactly how was unclear. He recently completed the data collection phase of a clinical trial using the drug on about 40 people with Down syndrome. The results have not yet been published.
"This will help us develop rational therapies for different intellectual disabilities. For example, based on these findings, it is probably unlikely that certain compounds that are currently being tested for the treatment of fragile X would work in persons with Down syndrome and, conversely, it is unlikely that a drug like memantine might be of any help in the improvement of cognition of young individuals with fragile X" he said. "It will also help us in the planning of clinical trials and represents another move toward more personalized therapies."
Provided by University of Colorado Denver
- Scientist tests promising drug on those with Down syndrome Aug 02, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Researcher finds altered cerebella in those with Down syndrome Aug 24, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Drug shows promise for Down syndrome Feb 26, 2007 | not rated yet | 0
- Researchers restore memory process in most common form of mental disability Oct 05, 2007 | not rated yet | 0
- New clue found for Fragile X syndrome-epilepsy link Apr 12, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Why is zone 1 in liver more prone to ischemic injury?
3 hours ago Hi, Is it because around central vein, there is only deoxygenated blood from the vein where as in the periphery there is hepatic artery. Also why...
How can there be villous adenoma in colon, if there are no villi there
23 hours ago As title suggest. Thanks :smile:
How can there be a term called "intestinal metaplasia" of stomach
May 21, 2013 Hello everyone, Ok Stomach's normal epithelium is simple columnar, now in intestinal type of adenocarcinoma of stomach it undergoes "intestinal...
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
Every day, their baby stopped breathing, his collapsed bronchus blocking the crucial flow of air to his lungs. April and Bryan Gionfriddo watched helplessly, just praying that somehow the dire predictions ...
Medical research 14 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 0
The human gut is loaded with commensal bacteria – "good" microbes that, among other functions, help the body digest food. The gastrointestinal tract contains literally trillions of such cells, and yet the ...
Medical research 18 hours ago | 5 / 5 (3) | 0 |
Swiss scientists reveal the mechanism responsible for aging hidden deep within mitochondria—and dramatically slow it down in worms by administering antibiotics to the young.
Medical research 18 hours ago | 4.9 / 5 (9) | 1 |
On May 22, JoVE will publish details of a technique to measure the health of human genetic material in relation to a patient's age. The method is demonstrated by the laboratory of Dr. Gil Atzmon at New York's Albert Einste ...
Medical research 21 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Scientists supported by the National Institutes of Health have a new theory as to why a woman's fertility declines after her mid-30s. They also suggest an approach that might help slow ...
Medical research 23 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
US teen births have dropped to a record low, but the country still has one of the highest rates among developed nations, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.
52 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Researchers from Queen Mary, University of London have led the largest sequencing study of human disease to date, investigating the genetic basis of six autoimmune diseases.
18 hours ago | 4.7 / 5 (3) | 0 |
Until now, little was scientifically known about the human potential to cultivate compassion—the emotional state of caring for people who are suffering in a way that motivates altruistic behavior.
15 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 2 |
Existing research shows that bicyclists who wear helmets have an 88 percent lower risk of brain injury, but researchers at Boston Children's Hospital found that simply having bicycle helmet laws in place showed a 20 percent ...
7 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—Migraines and depression can each cause a great deal of suffering, but new research indicates the combination of the two may be linked to something else entirely—a smaller brain.
14 hours ago | 4 / 5 (2) | 0 |
A new approach for immunizing against influenza elicited a more potent immune response and broader protection than the currently licensed seasonal influenza vaccines when tested in mice and ferrets. The vaccine ...
15 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |