Researchers at Johns Hopkins restored the normal growth of specific nerve cells in the cerebellum of mouse models of Down syndrome (DS) that were stunted by this genetic condition. The cerebellum is the rear, lower part of the brain that controls signals from the muscles to coordinate balance and motor learning.
The finding is important, investigators say, because the cells rescued by this treatment represent potential targets for future therapy in human babies with DS. And it suggests that similar success for other DS-related disruptions of brain growth, such as occurs in the hippocampus, could lead to additional treatments – perhaps prenatally – that restore memory and the ability to orient oneself in space.
Treatment of Down syndrome in mice restores nerve growth in cerebellum [ ScienceBlog.com ]