Background Down syndrome (DS) is a common chromosomal disease resulting in neurodegeneration. Cognitive competence has been assessed among adults with DS using various methods because DS patients have a tendency to develop Alzheimer's disease (AD) after middle age. However, research describing cognitive assessments in DS children is not as many as in DS adults, let alone with regard to performed analyses to determine factors that predict cognitive assessments. In this study, we evaluated the Gesell Developmental Schedules (GDS) scores and their associations with the relevant biochemical indicators and demographic factors in DS children. Methods All the subjects underwent GDS testing. The plasma amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide and serum vitamin A (VA) values were measured with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and high-performance liquid chromatography, and in the meanwhile, the demographic information of the subjects was collected. Results Forty-six DS children were recruited for this study. The GDS scores of children with DS were lower than those in children without DS. The plasma Aβ40 and Aβ42 levels were negatively associated with the GDS scores. Moreover, the GDS scores of the non-VA deficiency (NVAD) group were significantly higher than those of the VA deficiency (VAD) group. Certain demographic characteristics, such as the paternal labor intensity and paternal educational status, were relevant factors with regard to the GDS scores of the DS children. Conclusions This study determined that DS children exhibited abnormal GDS scores which indicated developmental delay of children with DS; the levels of plasma Aβ40, Aβ42 and serum VA were influential biochemical indicators and the paternal labor intensity and educational status were related demographic factors.
Keywords: Down syndrome; Gesell Developmental Schedules; amyloid-β peptide; vitamin A.
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