Alternative Approaches for Down Syndrome

February 21, 2006 | Filed Under Home remedies 

There are a number of revolutionary treatments to maximize the learning potential and physical capabilities of those with Down syndrome that have shown significant success and have been gaining increasing scientific attention in recent years.

NUTRITIONAL APPROACH

The use of nutritional supplementation to help boost the metabolism of those with Down syndrome began with North American physician Dr. Henry Turkel in the 1950s. To address the unique biochemistry of those with Down syndrome, he began treating affected children with a combination of vitamins, minerals, and hormones. Although his program achieved some success, his work was generally rejected or ignored by mainstream scientists.

However, a growing population of parents of children with Down syndrome continued to use Dr. Turkel’s nutritional program. Eventually, Kent Macleod, a pharmaceutical biochemist and owner of Nutri-Chem labs in Ottawa, Canada, learned of Dr. Turkel’s formula after a number of parents asked him to evaluate the protocol. Macleod and the biochemical team at Nutri-Chem joined with Dr. Turkel and other researchers in further developing and refining the original supplement. A nutritional formula known as MSBPlus was the eventual result.

MSBPlus is a formula of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants, and enzymes that targets essential

nutrients missing from the biochemical makeup of the person with Down syndrome. This supplement, which can be custom-formulated to meet individual age and metabolic needs, has met with marked success. Research is ongoing. The University of Miami School of Medicine is now collaborating with Nutri-Chem on clinical trials and studies on Down syndrome. One long-term, double­blind study will examine the cognitive development and language skills of children with Down syndrome who are taking MSBPlus.

Nutri-Chem is also working with Dr. Marie Peeters, a pediatrician and former member of the Institute de Progenese in Paris. Dr. Peeters was an associate of Dr. Jerome leJeune, the scientist who discovered the cause of Down syndrome. In an effort to further study the effects of nutritional supplements (particularly amino acids) on those with this disorder, Dr. Peeters is involved in clinical trials.

For additional information on MSBPlus formula, or to receive information on the connection between nutrition and Down syndrome, you can write to Nutri-Chem labs, 1303 Richmond Road, Ottawa, Ontario K2B 7Y 4, Canada; or call them at 613-820-9065 or 613-829-2226.

The work of Dr. Turkel also influenced Jack Warner, M.D., F.A.A.P., founder of Warner House, Inc., a not-for­profit center for the clinical study and treatment of Down syndrome. Together with medical colleagues, biochemists, and other medical professionals, Dr. Warner developed a metabolic treatment called HAP CAPS for children with Down syndrome. This formula is a supplemental yet integra. part of a multidisciplinary treatment approach that includes examination and evaluation by a physical therapist, a developmental optometrist, a clinical psychologist, a speech advisor, and a nutritionist, under the recommendation of a primary care pediatrician, plus a system of periodic reports, tests, and doctors’ observations. In addition to seeing patients regularly at the clinic in Fullerton, California, the Warner House staff also travels across the United States to meet with patients in many cities.

Dr. Warner reports that data from over twelve years of research and treatment show the Warner House treatment protocol has resulted in changes in the physical features of children with Down syndrome, a reduction in the frequency of infections that typically affect these children, and an improvement in their cognitive ability.

More information about Warner House can be obtained by writing to The Warner House, 1023 East Chapman Avenue, Fullerton, CA 92631; or by calling 714-441-2600.

DEVELOPMENTAL STIMULATION APPROACH

The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, offers parents of children with Down syndrome a specialized program for helping their children develop and maximize their potential. In this program, parents are the key players in a home therapeutic approach that involves providing simple yet intensive neurological stimulation for their children. A carefully designed nutritional regimen is also an integral part of the program.

Before beginning the program, parents attend a five-day course of lectures and demonstrations at The Institutes. They learn about the Developmental Profile, a measuring instrument that clearly shows visual, auditory, tactile, mobility, language, and manual abilities a child should attain by certain ages, and they learn specific techniques to use in working on different skill areas with their children. Once home, the parents carry out an individualized brain­development program tailored to the needs of their child. Carried out properly, these techniques have produced most encouraging results, often leading children with Down syndrome to perform even above levels exhibited by most average children.

More information on this program can be obtained by writing to The Registrar, The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential, 8801 Stenton Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19118; or by calling 800-736-4663.

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