Children with Down syndrome have delayed growth, characteristic physical traits, and mild to moderate intellectual disability. Down syndrome (a.k.a. trisomy 21) is a genetic disorder involving the presence of all or part of a third copy of chromosome 21394. The extra chromosome occurs by chance with the parents of a Down child being genetically normal. The possibility of giving birth to a Down child is 0.1% in mothers 20 years old and 3% in mothers 45 years old. Currently there is no known environmental factor that changes these percentages.
Environmental factors do lead to earlier onset of AD in those with Down syndrome. There is a six-fold increased gastrointestinal absorption of aluminum in individuals with Down syndrome395. This is likely why 90% of those with Down syndrome over 30 years of age have similar neuropathology to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients and at least 70% will develop dementia by age 55 to 60 years395,396.
In general as they age, people absorb and accumulate aluminum at different rates accounting for why some get AD earlier than others77,397. On average people under 77 years of age diagnosed with AD have a 64% greater gastrointestinal aluminum absorption rate than age-matched people without AD398,399. But on average all people over 77 years of age, with and without AD, have similar high rates of gastrointestinal aluminum absorption400. The major difference between AD patients with and without Down syndrome is an earlier onset of both gastrointestinal aluminum absorption and AD neuropathology in those with Down syndrome401.
Conclusion of Preventing Alzheimer’s in those with Down Syndrome - Aluminum does not cause Down syndrome but aluminum absorption is six-fold greater in individuals with Down syndrome than normal. This high level of aluminum absorption increases the risk of Alzheimer’s in those with Downs resulting in 70% of those with Down syndrome developing dementia by age 55 to 60 years of age. In order to prevent Alzheimer’s it is recommended that those with Down syndrome take a daily OSA rich silica water supplement. In addition a diet high in silica rich vegetables and grains is recommended.
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395.Moore, P.B., et al.; Gastrointestinal absorption of aluminum is increased in Downs syndrome; Biol. Psychiatry; Feb.; 15:41(4):488-92 (1997)
396.Lai, F. and Williams, R.S.; A prospective study of Alzheimer’s disease in Down syndrome; Arch Neurol.; 46:849-53 (1989)
397.Wilcock, D.M., and Griffin, W.S.; Down’s syndrome, neuroinflammation and Alzheimer’s neuropathogenesis; J. Neuroinflammation; 10:84 (2013)
398.House, E., et al.; Aluminum, iron, and copper in human brain tissues donated to the Medical Research Council’s cognitive functioning and ageing study; Metallomics; Jan. 4(1):56-65 (2012)
399.Moore, P.B.; et al.; Absorption of aluminum-26 in Alzheimer’s disease, measured using accelerator mass spectrometry; 11:66-69 (2000)
400.Taylor, G.A., et al.; Gastrointestinal absorption of aluminum in Alzheimer’s disease: response to aluminum citrate; Age Ageing; Mar.; 21(2):81-90 (1992)
401.Hartley, D., et al.; Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease: Common pathways and common goals; Alzheime’s Dement.; June; 11(6):700-709 (2015)