The role of alterations in free radical metabolism in mediating cognitive impairments in Down’s syndrome

  • Karen L. Brugge
  • Sharon Nichols
  • Dean Delis
  • Tsunao Saitoh
  • Doris Truaner
Part of the EXS book series (EXS, volume 62)


Down’s syndrome (DS) is a genetic disorder involving an excess of chromosome 21 (trisomy 21) in approximately 96% of the cases and comprises approximately 15% of the population with mental retardation (Heller, 1969). In addition to the constitutional mental deficiencies associated with the syndrome many DS patients develop dementia associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in their later years of life (Thase et al., 1984). The genetic locus for Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD1), a key enzyme in free radical metabolism, is located on chromosome 21, and the activity level of this enzyme is elevated by approximately 50% in a variety of cells of DS patients (see Kedziora and Bartosz, 1988; Sinet, 1982). Because alterations in free radical metabolism may be involved in neuronal death and may be associated with a number of pathological manifestations of DS, it is important to understand the role of free radical metabolism in cognitive impairments of DS, the topic discussed in this chapter.


Down Syndrome Intelligence Quotient GSHPx Activity Intrusion Error Copper Zinc Superoxide 
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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag Basel/Switzerland 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karen L. Brugge
    • 1
  • Sharon Nichols
    • 1
  • Dean Delis
    • 1
  • Tsunao Saitoh
    • 1
  • Doris Truaner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Neuroscience’s and Department of PsychiatryUniversity of CaliforniaSan DiegoUSA

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