These genes are at a triple dose in Down syndrome:
- RCAN or (DSCR1)
- 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
- 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.
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.