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Discovery by A*Star scientists may help those with Down syndrome

Published on Feb 19, 2014 1:10 PM

Scientists at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) have mapped out the precise function of a protein, which may lead to a better understanding of how to help those with Down syndrome.

The protein, known as SNX27, was previously known to be related to memory formation. Insufficient amounts of SNX27 mean that nerve cells cannot pass chemical signals to one another properly. This, in turn, impairs the brain's ability to form memories.

As Down syndrome sufferers are born with 47 chromosomes instead of the usual 46, resulting in lower levels of the protein, they often have difficulty in forming memories, which affects their learning ability.

However, it was not known exactly how SNX27 was related to memory impairment.

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