Down's syndrome cells fixed

Scientists believe they have made a major breakthrough in treating some of the symptoms of Down's Syndrome. They have worked out how to turn off the extra chromosome that causes learning difficulties and several health problems.

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Down's syndrome research an 'exciting breakthrough'

A scientist from Cambridge University has praised the research into Down's syndrome describing the findings as an "exciting breakthrough".

Researchers believe they have found a way of silencing the extra chromosome which is the root cause of Down's syndrome.

Neurogeneticist Dr Lucy Raymond, from Cambridge University, said:

"This is an exciting breakthrough, but this process is still at a very early (cellular) stage and we are nowhere near seeing this procedure being used in the treatment of Down's syndrome in people."

"This new study could, however, lead to extremely useful further studies looking at which particular genes on chromosome 21 cause certain aspects of Down's syndrome, and which might therefore be good targets for therapeutic agents."


Down's syndrome genetic defect could be 'switched off'

US Scientists have developed a way to "switch off" the genetic defect responsible for Down's syndrome.

Children with Down's syndrome are born with three copies of chromosome 21 instead of two.

This extra chromosome causes a delay in the way a child develops and leads to a range of health problems.

However researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School believe they have found a way of silencing the extra chromosome which is the root cause of the disorder.

The technique has only been trialed on laboratory cell cultures, but scientists hope it could lead to a new form of "chromosomal therapy".

Research opens up 'exciting new avenues'

The lead author of a report claiming that the gene causing Down's syndrome could be "switched off" has said the findings represent "exciting new avenues" for studying the disorder.

Professor Jeanne Lawrence said: "Genetic correction of hundreds of genes across an entire extra chromosome has remained outside the realm of possibility.

"Our hope is that for individuals living with Down syndrome, this proof-of-principal opens up multiple exciting new avenues for studying the disorder now, and brings into the realm of consideration research on the concept of 'chromosome therapy' in the future."

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