Down Syndrome

Down Syndrome Patients Could Unlock Secrets of Aging

Down Syndrome Patients Could Unlock Secrets of Aging

 

Questions seem to arise too often which question the value and purpose of lives of people with disabilities.  We tragically hear that 90% of pregnancies with a prenatal diagnosis of  Down syndrome end in abortion.  As people of faith, we strongly believe in the value of all life.  As friends and/or families with people who have a member with Down syndrome, we can attest personally to the enrichment our lives have gained through our relationship with people having this disability.   A recent article in USAToday provides even more reason to value the contributions which come through the lives of people with Down syndrome.

“As they live longer, adults with Down syndrome — who have an extra copy of chromosome 21 — are teaching scientists about the genetic roots of aging, says Ira Lott, head of pediatric neurology at the University of California-Irvine School of Medicine.”

“Scientists today are searching this chromosome, which contains only about 200 of the body's roughly 20,000 genes, to learn why people with Down syndrome suffer disproportionately from some health problems, such as Alzheimer's disease, but are spared many others, such as heart attacks, strokes and certain types of cancer.”

“By studying adults with Down syndrome, researchers hope to find new ways to combat diseases of aging in the larger population as well, Lott says.”

Read the entire article at:  http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2010-03-22-down22_CV_N.htm

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