Among the genetic changes related to Intellectual Disabilities ( ID) the most well characterized is Down syndrome (DS ) , whose subjects have the presence of an extra 21 chromosome. The DS patients have motor and cognitive impairments such as reduction in the coefficient of memory, learning and language disabilities . Much of what we understand today about the implication of trisomy 21 in the development , electrophysiological and morphological properties of the Central Nervous System ( CNS ) came from studies conducted in animal models . However , the experiments of cell reprogramming led by Japanese researcher Shinya Yamanaka , opened up a new experimental approach , which may provide a better understanding of the changes caused by the extra copy of chromosome 21 . The reported cognitive deficits in patients with DS have been associated mainly with macro and micro structural changes during development of the CNS. Evidence shows that astrocytes are major players in the maturation of the nervous system , they effectively modulate all stages of the formation and maturation of synapses . In this sense , our study proposes the analysis of the influence of astrocytes in synaptic modulation in cultured neurons from patients with DS , in order to enable a better understanding of the role of astrocytes in the signaling pathways involved in the maintenance and maturation of the mammalian CNS of DS individuals.
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