DENVER – Researchers in Denver have found a definitive link between Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease.
“If we want to find a cure to Alzheimer’s, we have to further study Down syndrome,” scientist Huntington Potter said.
Potter and his colleague Tom Blumenthal testify at a congressional hearing in Washington D.C. on Wednesday.
“We’ll be meeting with members of Congress and telling them about the connection and hope this will improve the chances for better funding for NIH,” Potter said.
Potter and Blumenthal work at the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome, which is based at the University of Colorado – Anschutz Medical Campus They’re work is funded by the Denver-based Global Down Syndrome Foundation.
“The connection between Down Syndrome and Alzheimer’s became known gradually,” Blumenthal said. “As people with Down Syndrome got older.. and they didn’t used to…they got old enough to get Alzheimer’s.”
Down Syndrome is a genetic disorder caused by an extra copy of the 21st chromosome.
“And that, turned out to have on it the gene that causes Alzheimer’s disease,” Blumenthal said.