Down Syndrome and Alzheimer's
I ran across this article about the connection between white matter and cognitive health. But what really fascinated me was the part about how people with Down syndrome are at "extremely high risk" for developing Alzheimer's after 40.
The researchers did a study using 3 groups:
1. people with Down syndrome but no dementia
2. people with Down syndrome and dementia
3. a healthy control group
They used MRIs to study the brains of all three gouprs and found that:
1. The participants with Down syndrome had "some compromise" in the front lobe (compared to the control group)
2. The particpants with both Down syndrome and dementia had even less healthy white matter connections than the group with just Down synrome
3. The participants with Down syndrom who had the healthiest frontal lobe white matter connections also had the highest motor skill coordination, better memory and a better ability to learn.
Here's what I read: