Searching for new pharmacological targets for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease in Down syndrome
Individuals with Down syndrome are at increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease due to increase gene dosage resulting from chromosome 21 triplication. Although virtually all adults with Down syndrome will exhibit the major neuropathological hallmarks that define Alzheimer's disease, not all of them will develop the clinical symptoms associated with this disorder (i.e. dementia). Therefore, a good understanding of the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease in Down syndrome will be crucial for the identification of novel pharmacological targets to develop disease-modifying therapies for the benefit of Down syndrome individuals and for Alzheimer's sufferers alike. The study of biomarkers will also be essential for the development of better screening tools to identify dementia at its incipient stages. This review discusses the best-validated pharmacological targets for the treatment of cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease in Down syndrome. We further examine the relevance of newly discovered biological markers for earlier dementia diagnosis in this population.