New therapeutic targets for treating memory impairment in Down syndrome

New therapeutic targets for treating memory impairment in Down syndrome

News from CRG

According to previous studies at the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) and the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), a component of green tea — epigallocatechin gallate or EGG — could slightly improve executive functions in adults with Down syndromeNow, a study led by IMIM researcher Victoria Puig, and with the collaboration of the CRG researcher Mara Dierssen, has described on a functional level how EGG works in mouse models with Down syndrome and how it modifies their brain disorders.

The study consisted of recording neuronal activity in two brain regions critical for learning and memory, the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus, in trisomic mice and their non-trisomic siblings, before and after treatment for one month with epigallocatechin gallate (included in the water given to the mice to drink).

The obtained results are the following:

  • Brain circuits relevant to memory and learning are too activated in Down’s model mice and their connectivity is poor.
  • Neural activity during sleep is abnormal and probably interferes with memory consolidation.
  • They have identified biomarkers in brain rhythms that can predict memory deficits in mice.
  • These memory deficits are corrected with chronic EGG treatment.


Maria Alemany-González, Thomas Gener, Pau Nebot Marta Vilademunt, Mara Dierssen, M. Victoria Puig. Prefrontal-hippocampal functional connectivity encodes recognition memory and is impaired in intellectual disability. PNAS

More information:
CRG website