Research is showing that an extra chromosome called 21 is responsible for epilepsy patients developing Down’s syndrome and Alzheimer’s Disease. People generally have 23 pairs of chromosomes in their cell nuclei, with one of the copies (in each pair) being received from the mother and the other copy from the father.

When a person is born with Down’s syndrome, it is caused when there is an extra copy of chromosome 21, which also increases that person’s chances of developing epilepsy. When the seizures begin during adulthood, there is also a higher chance that the person will develop Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, reports show that as much as 50-80 percent of people who have both Down’s syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease have epilepsy, as well. The reports also show that the more severe the seizures are, the faster the person’s decline is going to be.

While the impact of the seizures that occur in patients with Down’s syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease are known, what causes it is not as clearly understood. It is for this reason that Dr. Frances Wiseman and colleagues at University College London have been offered a grant which is called “a mouse model of seizures in Down’s syndrome/Alzheimer’s disease.” This study is meant to help them develop a model that can be used to further study these pathways more closely.

There is already a mouse model of Down’s syndrome that is being used to locate more information about the condition. This newest study, however, is being conducted to find out more about the condition. In the current study, they intend to develop a model of Down’s syndrome-Alzheimer’s disease co-existence by breeding mice with Down’s syndrome with mice that have a certain mutant gene that is linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Then they will check to see if the new model will be more susceptible to seizures than the Alzheimer’s disease model, which is what happens with humans. If that is discovered, it could help become an effective tool in helping scientists to explore the impact of epilepsy in co-existing Alzheimer’s disease and Down’s syndrome, which in turn could provide researchers with new treatment targets.

Topamax is a common drug used to prevent seizures, but it is also dangerous to use for women who are
pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant. Topamax has been linked to an increased risk of suicide and suicidal thoughts as well as birth defects in women whose babies are exposed to the drug in-utero. Some of those birth defects linked to Topamax use during pregnancy include cleft lips, cleft palates, genital defects and other birth malformations.

If your baby was born with birth defects after in-utero exposure to Topamax, contact attorney Greg Jones today for a free consultation. I am experienced at fighting Topamax lawsuits and may be able to help you recover money for your child’s injuries.