Down syndrome may be caused by accelerated aging of neurons in the fetal brain


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The appearance of an extra copy of chromosome 21 sharply accelerates the aging of future nerve cells in the early stages of embryo development. This may explain why people with Down syndrome have mental retardation. According to TASS, the results of the study were published in the scientific journal Cell Stem Cell.

“The abnormalities in the life of future neurons, which we learned about during the study, are inherently very similar to what happens to human cells during their aging. This indicates that the reason for many of the neurophysiological abnormalities characteristic of Down syndrome carriers may be the accelerated aging of neurons in the developing brain of the fetus, ”said one of the study authors, associate professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Hiru Meharena.

Meharena and his colleagues tested what happens if senolytics remove “aged” embryonic cells. This procedure normalized the development of cultures of neurons’ blanks and eliminated many anomalies in their vital activity, including the unusual nature of their migrations.

Something similar, according to scientists, can be carried out inside embryos with an extra copy of the 21st chromosome. Hypothetically, this should protect future children from disorders in the work of their nervous system. Scientists hope to be able to test this hypothesis in further experiments on animals and find a safe way to implement a similar procedure in practice.


Source: Росбалт by www.rosbalt.ru.

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