RCAN1 is a gene that is over-expressed in the brains of fetuses with Down syndrome. This gene RCAN1 regulates bidirectional synaptic plasticity. Synaptic plasticity is the way that the synapses in the brain are able to strengthen and weaken over time. This is essential in memory and learning. This gene is vital as it functions as a switch. This gene is also beneficial in Alzheimer's research. Alzheimer's has been linked to mental degradation through the over expression of RCAN 1.
With the knowledge of this gene function, this opens up a plethora of opportunity to treat those with Down Syndrome. This discovery has been a major breakthrough in the biomedical community as it can aid in breakthrough treatments for two major deficits.