Endogenous opioids in frontal cortex of patients with Down syndrome

Neurosci Lett. 1996 Jan 19;203(2):111-4. doi: 10.1016/0304-3940(95)12275-3.


The main purpose of this study was to investigate differences regarding endogenous opioids in post-mortem frontal cortex of adult patients with Down syndrome (DS), patients with Alzheimer disease (AD) and neurologically healthy persons, respectively, using specific radioimmunoassays. The results of this study show that there is an increase in the levels of leu-enkephalin and dynorphin A in the frontal cortex of patients with DS as compared to the control group. An almost identical increase was also observed when comparing patients with AD to controls. In conclusion, the results of this study suggest a relationship between elevated tissue levels of leuenkephalin and dynorphin A in cerebral cortex and cognitive impairments in patients with DS and AD.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism
  • Down Syndrome / metabolism*
  • Dynorphins / analysis*
  • Dynorphins / genetics
  • Endorphins / analysis
  • Endorphins / genetics
  • Enkephalin, Leucine / analysis*
  • Enkephalin, Leucine / genetics
  • Enkephalin, Methionine / analysis
  • Enkephalin, Methionine / genetics
  • Enkephalins / genetics
  • Enkephalins / metabolism
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / chemistry*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Protein Precursors / genetics
  • Protein Precursors / metabolism
  • Radioimmunoassay


  • Endorphins
  • Enkephalins
  • Protein Precursors
  • Enkephalin, Methionine
  • Enkephalin, Leucine
  • Dynorphins
  • rimorphin
  • preproenkephalin