The Ecology of Humans (26-22) Down’s Syndrome

 Down’s Syndrome

Down’s syndrome is a developmental disorder caused by trisomy of human chromosome 21 (HSA21), and is characterized by intellectual disability, epilepsy, and early onset Alzheimer’s disease. ~Chinese molecular biochemist Wenbin Deng et al

Researchers who discovered that glia were responsible for the cognitive limitations associated with Down’s syndrome could not bring themselves to adjust their paradigm away from “neurons rule,” even as they confessed facts that glia, not nerve cells, run the show. The cognitive dissonance in their statements is startling.

Numerous studies have shown that astrocytes promote neurogenesis and synaptogenesis in neurons. Astrocytes exert profound effects on neuronal development as they provide support for neuronal survival, axon and dendrite outgrowth, and synaptogenesis. Such effects are largely mediated by a variety of factors that are expressed in and released by astrocytes.

Astroglial function is increasingly recognized as a critical factor in neuronal dysfunction in the brain. ~ Wenbin Deng