Unfortunately, in our world still remainconditions that are deemed unsuccessful. But this does not mean that you need to stop looking for ways to deal with them. Take, for example, Down syndrome - a disorder that can affect memory, a person's ability to learn, and cause other intellectual impairments. However, significant success in combating this violation was made by American researchers from the University of California at San Francisco and Baylor College of Medicine.
How to cope with Down syndrome?
All people with Down Syndrome have one thing in common.trait: additional copy of chromosome 21 pairs. For this reason, most research on Down Syndrome has focused on the genetic aspect of this condition. But for a new study published recently in the prestigious journal Science, researchers focused on protein cells in the brain of mice with Down syndrome. This led them to discover that animal hippocampal regions (this is the part of the brain located in the temporal parts of the hemispheres) produced 39 percent less protein than in normal mice.
Further research led scientists to concludethat the presence of an extra chromosome probably caused animal hippocampal cells to trigger a reaction called integrated stress response (ISR), which reduces protein production. We regularly report such discoveries on our page in Yandex.Zen. So sign up in order not to miss anything important.
Each cell "constantly monitors itshealth, ”said one of the authors of the work, Professor Peter Walter in a press release on this work. When something goes wrong, the cell reacts by producing less protein, which is usually an adequate response to the disorder. But protein synthesis in the brain is necessary for the implementation of the functions of higher nervous activity, therefore, with a decrease in protein synthesis, pathology occurs in the brain and memory.
After this discovery was made,a team of scientists blocked the activity of PKR enzyme, which was responsible for cellular stress, in the brain of laboratory mice with an analogue of Down syndrome. As a result, the researchers found that they can not only reverse the decline in protein production, but also improve the mental function of animals.
See also: Why do people have exactly 23 pairs of chromosomes?
Naturally, the success of the rodent experiment is notmeans that the technique will work successfully in public. However, when the researchers analyzed post-mortem samples of the brain tissue of people with Down Syndrome, they found evidence that ISR was activated, and therefore the enzyme activity was high. And in theory, its blocking can have the same results as in animals.
They also received a tissue sample from a person withDown syndrome, which had an extra copy of chromosome 21 only in some of the cells, and not in all. And these mutated cells were the only ones with PKR activated. And this may indicate that a similar mechanism works in the human brain. And it can be influenced in a similar way. Experts are going to study the possibility of this and intend to do it soon.