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11-13-2012, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Plan The Parade View Post
In order to "cure" Down Syndrome, wouldn't virtually every cell in the person's body have to be replaced?

Or is it just a certain type of cell that would have to be replaced, then the other cells would follow suit?
Assuming that it does lead to a "cure" based on removing the chromosomes, I would imagine some organs would be more affected than others. If they could target the treatment to specific cells, there might be other cells that do not require treatment because the trisomy does not have as big an effect on those cells.

There would also be efficiency issues, no treatment could affect 100% of targeted cells. What would be left is a genetic mosaic, in which case the balance of the two conditions (with/without trisomy) could determine the overall function. Many conditions that naturally occur as genetic mosaics show milder phenotypes than the full variants.

Treating some cells (such as neural cells) would probably be extremely hard. Cell lines that rapidly divide (such as epithelial cells, skin cells, liver cells, etc.) would yield better results since treated cells would divide into two normal daughter cells, but non-dividing tissues would be much harder.

But as has been stated, the idea of a "cure" is way down the line. It appears that the initial idea might be to utilize stem cells to improve certain systems (namely the immune system).

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