Down's syndrome: a genetic disorder in biobehavioral perspective

Genes Brain Behav. 2003 Jun;2(3):156-66. doi: 10.1034/j.1601-183x.2003.00026.x.


Down's syndrome is a genetic disorder that can lead to mental retardation of varying degrees. How this chromosomal abnormality causes mental retardation remains an open question. This paper reviews what is currently known about the neural and cognitive features of Down's syndrome, noting the growing evidence of disproportionate impairment of specific systems such as the hippocampal formation, the prefrontal cortex and the cerebellum. The development of animal models of these defects offers a way of ultimately connecting the genetic disorder to its cognitive consequences.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Development
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 21 / genetics
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Down Syndrome / genetics*
  • Down Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Down Syndrome / psychology*
  • Hippocampus / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Intelligence
  • Learning / physiology