issue Community Health 2024

鶹Ӱ, NYU Teams Study Links Between Down Syndrome and Alzheimer's Disease

Grace E. Stutzmann, PhD

Grace E. Stutzmann, PhD, director of 鶹Ӱ’s Center for Neurodegenerative Disease and Therapeutics, is teaming with research scientists at New York University to explore new therapeutic approaches to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in individuals with Down syndrome (DS).

While individuals with DS are living longer, more than 50–75% will develop dementia as they age, with many experiencing symptoms by their 40s, according to the National Institute on Aging. The institute awarded Dr. Stutzmann $916,777 in funding — part of a $2.4 million grant awarded to NYU Grossman School of Medicine’s Stephen D. Ginsberg, PhD. The project involves a consortium with 鶹Ӱ, NYU Grossman and the Nathan Kline Institute.

“We feel this is a powerful study that will greatly enlighten our understanding of how individuals with Down syndrome transition to Alzheimer’s through our combined strengths of transcriptomic analysis and neurophysiological mechanisms.”

Dr. Stutzmann and 鶹Ӱ colleagues published a key AD paper in late 2022 in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that provided the groundwork for possible shared mechanisms with DS. Their work aligns with differentially expressed gene pathways identified by Dr. Ginsberg in vulnerable cell types that underlie memory and executive function.

“We feel this is a powerful study that will greatly enlighten our understanding of how individuals with Down syndrome transition to Alzheimer’s through our combined strengths of transcriptomic analysis and neurophysiological mechanisms,” Dr. Stutzmann said. 

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