A study of digestive absorption in four cases of Down's syndrome. Down's syndrome, malnutrition, malabsorption, and Alzheimer's disease

Med Hypotheses. 1990 Jan;31(1):35-8. doi: 10.1016/0306-9877(90)90051-f.


Many data suggest that patients with Down's syndrome (DS) suffer from digestive malabsorption. A fecal test of absorption (search for undigested meat fibers following the ingestion of a measured diet) was conducted in 4 patients with DS. The results point to malabsorption in these patients and support the hypothesis of malabsorption in DS. The etiology of probable malabsorption in DS is discussed. Data are presented suggesting that chronic malnutrition caused by malabsorption could be the cause of the neuropathologic signs of Alzheimer's disease occurring at or slightly before the fourth decade in all patients with DS.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alzheimer Disease / etiology
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology
  • Down Syndrome / complications
  • Down Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Absorption / physiology*
  • Malabsorption Syndromes / etiology
  • Malabsorption Syndromes / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Biological
  • Nutrition Disorders / etiology
  • Nutrition Disorders / physiopathology