Friday, February 5, 2010

Down Syndrome and Alzheimer's DIsease

In a recent study at Washington University School of Medicine about Alzheimer’s Disease, it is suggested that Down Syndrome patients who live to middle age or older have reduced incidence of cancer (if they have AD).

Well … did you know:

Genes for Down syndrome and Alzheimer disease share the same chromosome 21.

Down syndrome, artery-clogging cardiovascular disease, and possibly even diabetes, appear to share a common disease mechanism with Alzheimer's disease, Dr. Potter and colleagues at the Florida Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, USF Health Byrd Alzheimer's Institute, recently reported.

People with Down syndrome, also called trisomy 21, develop a syndrome of dementia that has the same characteristics of Alzheimer's disease that occurs in individuals without Down syndrome. The only difference is that Alzheimer's disease occurs much earlier in people with Down syndrome; patients with Down syndrome begin to have symptoms in their late 40s or early 50s.

Most (and maybe all) people with Down syndrome develop the brain changes associated with Alzheimer's disease. However, Alzheimer's disease is not more common in individuals with intellectual disabilities from causes other than Down syndrome. An estimated 10%-25% of patients with Down syndrome have Alzheimer's disease at age 40-49 years, 20%-50% have Alzheimer's disease at age 50-59 years, and 60%-75% have Alzheimer's disease when older than 60 years of age. Alzheimer's disease decreases survival in people with Down syndrome who are older than 45 years of age.

Hmmmmmm .....


  1. I had heard about the link between DS and Alzheimers. My daughter is 25; we're passed the years of potty training, puberty, school and now her future is stretched out before us, unknown and as uncertain as it was all those years ago. I have read a lot of blogs and you are the only one I know of that has someone older than my daughter. Who happens to be an Elizabeth as well. :)

  2. I've just found your blog thanks to Stuart at the UK Down's Syndrome Association.

    I am very excited and want to pass it on to my friend Joyce. Like you she too had a twin sister Judith who sadly died a few years back. If you two haven't come across each other it would be great to get you in touch.

    I am an advocate for Down's Syndrome, a bereaved parent and Director of the UK charity Down's Heart Group, so anything realted is always of interest to me.

  3. My 38 year old daughter with DS has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. I am happy to find your blog to help me navigate my feelings. Thanks!

  4. Oops ... did not know that the same chromosome that affects us to produce Down syndrome is the same as Alzheimer's affects your information ... very good!

  5. Hello well the down syndrome is pretty hard cause the kid will have that different appearance that the rest of the persons and also the learning skill will be lowers ,
    and the Alzheimer will degenerate you're brain and you will lose you're memories so both are really bad diseases .

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  8. Yiota I wanted to share a link with you about a book, "For The Love" I recently wrote about my beautiful sister Sarina, who has Downs syndrome as well. Sarina will be 43 this December and is doing wonderful~ I hope you read our book!! Wish me reach as I try to open eyes and hearts as people share our journey~ love and light to you and Lizzie~ she's an angel~ just like Sarina~ and you are a Diva....just like me~ :)

  9. Are you and your Sister identical twins? Can't tell from the picture.

    Thank you,

    Woody Cox
    Buna, Tx.

    HS Science Teacher

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