Study of genetic disorders has gained popularity across the medical research fraternity. Down syndrome is amongst the most common genetic disorders that affects people across the globe. Each year, over 6000 babies are born with chromosomal deviances that result in down-syndrome. Impairment of the 21st chromosome of gene OLIG2 is responsible for the occurrence of down-syndrome. 23 pairs of chromosomes are present in the human body while kids with down-syndrome have an extra pair. The 21st pair of chromosomes inherits an extra copy which disrupts the symmetry of chromosomes. This deviance affects the physical and cognitive development of individuals with down-syndrome. Researchers at Rutgers University have developed a new target mechanism to alleviate down-syndrome. The researchers intend to target the extra chromosome of gene OLIG2 during prenatal therapy.
Dealing with the Extra Chromosome
The ability to target the extra chromosome could help in reversing the negative impacts of down-syndrome. Abnormal brain development is a result of extra chromosomal impact, and this could be inhibited with target-therapy. As a result, prenatal therapies can balance inhibitory and excitatory neurons in the brain. This could in turn improve the cognitive abilities of children born with down-syndrome. The researchers used samples of skin cells and grafts from the body of down-syndrome patients. Further, researchers programmed these cells to act as brain cells during the research.
Use of Mouse Samples
The use of mouse cells for this research also gave key insights to the researchers. Besides, it was found that the use of these cells could produce stellar results within genetic studies.