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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Review Again and Again and Again

Whew!! These blogs have been a lot of science. If you are still with me, let's review.
3 Players:
These genes are at a triple dose in Down syndrome:
  1. DYRK1A
  2. RCAN or (DSCR1)
  3. APP
DYRK1A is triplicated (3X) in Down Syndrome and is involved in cell growth and development.

  • decrease brain volume (slows cell growth and development)
  • decreases synaptic plasticity [decreases BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor)- like brain food]
  • increases the production of the toxic amyloid beta plaque
  • hyperphosphoralates tau protein which is a structural protein inside the nerves. The tau protein falls off the internal structure leading to collapse of the nerve
  • decreases cell growth and therefore brain volume
  • the DSCR stands for Down Syndrome Critical Region. It has since been renamed to RCAN
APP stands for Amyloid Precursor Protein
  • 3 enzymes cut this protein in different spots
  •  the DYRK1A changes the APP and sets it up to be cut in a toxic manner creating the poisonous amyloid beta plaque.
  • The amyloid beta plaque is hallmark of Alzheimer's and Down syndrome brain pathology
  • in a mouse model, 3 times APP alone does not show the same pathological changes seen in Down syndrome
  • in a mouse model, 3 times APP and 3 times DYRK1A does resemble the brain changes seen in Down syndrome. Also, these mice have similar learning deficiencies seen in Down syndrome.
What can we do to help turn down these genes? Well obviously we need to rebalance the system if we can.

One thing came up over and over in the journal articles. GREEN TEA EXTRACT

Green Tea Extract decreases the expression of the DYRK1A gene.

So, if DYRK1A was expressed at a more normal level, the person with Down syndrome should be able to grow nerve cells and therefore normalize brain volume. Learning and memory should increase with more synaptic plasticity. Forming less amyloid beta plaques should at least delay the onset of toxic plaque build up in the brain. And, structurally, the tau protein should stay more normal therefore, less nerve cells will collapse.

Another journal article, found that ANTIDEPRESSANTS decrease the expression of the RCAN gene. There were some contradictory studies on this point but ANTIDEPRESSANTS also are known to increase BDNF which is probably a good thing in Down syndrome.

Thanks for the comments on facebook. I know this is tough stuff but you don't have to know every detail. You need to understand the overall pathology that is an ongoing problem in Down syndrome. 'WE CAN' help our loved ones with Down syndrome. It is like an onion one layer at a time.


  1. GREAT! So now the trick is figuring out HOW MUCH Green Tea Extract to give our kids based on their weight. I have been giving O 200 mcg a day in the morning. She weighs about 25 pounds. So far I cannot tell a difference at all. She doesn't seem to be learning any quicker at all. Been doing it about three weeks.

  2. So glad you are looking into this. I decided that I can't give my baby EGCG because it interferes with the absorption of folate...

    Exercept: studies of EGCG suggest that EGCG may affect folate metabolism, suppress transcription factors leading to cell-cycle arrest, and induce oxidative stress through generation of ROS.

    Healthy cells need folates, which are essential for cell division especially for growing children…

    2005 Spanish study (abstract:; full study: showing that people with a folate deficiency should probably not drink a lot of green tea or take too much EGCG in its supplement form.

    When do you think is a good time to start supplementing?

  3. Regarding dosage of EGCG: