Down syndrome holds key to defeating Alzheimer’s

2 Aug 2013

Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) researchers have made a breakthrough in the fight against Alzheimer’s, using the latest in stem cell technology.

A team led by AIBN’s Associate Professor Ernst Wolvetang has reprogrammed skin cells from people with Down syndrome into induced pluripotent stem cells and then differentiated them into brain cells.

The brain cells have the extra chromosome 21 found in people with Down syndrome – a condition known to be linked to early onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

A/Prof Wolvetang will focus on understanding how Alzheimer’s develops at the genetic level and will sequentially delete genes from chromosome 21, with the aim of pointing the research community in the right direction for a targeted therapy.

View the full media release here