20.11.2014

Experts make Down"s syndrome and Alzheimer"s eye link

Experts make Down"s syndrome and Alzheimer"s eye link

Healthcare experts have established a link between Down"s syndrome and Alzheimer"s disease, claiming that the two conditions are connected through proteins found in the eyes.

According to specialists at Boston University School of Medicine and the Boston University Alzheimer"s Disease Center, the protein that forms plaques in the brain in Alzheimer"s disease also accumulates in the eyes of people with Down"s syndrome.

The breakthrough study also shows that the toxic protein, known as amyloid-B, that causes Alzheimer"s pathology in the brain also leads to distinctive cataracts in the eyes.

Dr Lee Goldstein, associate professor at the university, said the research may lead to the development of an innovative eye test for early detection of Alzheimer"s pathology in both conditions.

Co-lead author of the study Dr Juliet Moncaster added: "The lens can"t clear protein deposits the way the brain does. Our findings show that the same amyloid-B protein that aggregates in the brain also accumulates in the lens and leads to these unusual cataracts in Down"s syndrome.

by Emily Tait


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