Introduction

Aging is a very complex phenomenon. Martin (1) has proposed that Down syndrome (DS) is a disorder of premature aging, because the syndrome scored highly in the author's review of syndromes with several age-related pathologies. However, few studies have attempted to verify this assertion.

This chapter will assess the utility of DS as a model for premature aging. To do this, we review the health disorders of a population of aging individuals with DS in British Columbia and compare them with other recent studies in the literature as well as with general population statistics.

In the second part of this chapter, we review what is known about the biology of Alzheimer disease (AD) and the hypotheses of how aneuploidy could contribute to the excess of early Alzheimer-like pathologies described in DS, concentrating mainly on the amyloid precursor protein and the oxidative stress hypothesis.

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