Down Syndrome Program


Early onset Aβ in Down syndrome: Diffuse amyloid staining from the brain of a 4-month old child with DS, intact neuron (L)

Down syndrome is the most common cause of genetically-determined intellectual disability in the United States, affecting approximately 1 in 700 live births.  An estimated 350,000 Americans have Down syndrome.   Also called trisomy 21, Down syndrome results from a tripling of all or part of the 21st chromosome.  The association between Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease was established in 1948. Since then, we’ve learned that by approximately age 40, essentially all individuals with trisomy 21 have the characteristic amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles of Alzheimer’s disease.

For more information about the UCI MIND Down Syndrome Program contact:

Eric Doran, M.S.
Manager, Down Syndrome Program
UC Irvine Medical Center

To read more about the link between Alzheimer’s disease and Down syndrome, see the articles below:

Learning about healthy aging and Alzheimer’s disease from people with Down syndrome

Links in the pathogenesis of Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease