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Abu called the show and left a message on DrClaudia.net's "Ask Me" button about the blog post regarding ongoing research to treat fetuses with Down Syndrome with Prozac. That post referenced research being done in 2015, but that's 4 years ago and Prozac is now being used on adults with Down Syndrome.
He didn't make it clear if his situation was one with a baby who had already been born or if his unborn child has Down Syndrome.
Here are some of the highlights of the discussion and resources that will help him understand what the research is showing:
If you’re talking about babies that have already been born, there’s no research on this, so there’s no information as to whether or not it benefits, but Prozac treatment benefits the adults.
Here are some basics about Down Syndrome:
- Occurs when the fertilized egg ends up with an extra chromosome.
- Effects every cell in the body
- Related to heart disease
- Increase risk to early dementia
- On average, IQ is 50 points lower than average although over the population of those with Down Syndrome, they show a very wide range of abilities.
- Their brains have fewer brain cell connections which is the network for thinking.
- Their brains have fewer cells overall.
- Their brains cells behave differently.
The research is showing that:
1. Recently, there are surprising and thrilling results seen in baby mice in the womb from studies conducted in Spain.
2. The study I referenced in 2015 was and is being done by Carol Tamminga at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.
3. So far, Prozac, a common antidepressant, and a diuretic (water pill) called Bumex or Burinez (actually bumetadine) that’s used to treat high blood pressure by getting rid of fluid in your body are being tried to treat Down Syndrome brains and showing positive results.
4. A molecule called NKCC1 seems to be involved in both mice and people with Down Syndrome and reducing this compound in neurons helps their brains to sprout more connections.
5. Prozac is being used successfully to treat memory problems in adults with Down probably by making the neurons grow.
6. There’s another compound called EGCG which is an extract from green tea reduces an enzyme that is overproduced in Down’s brains.
7. The results show improvements in memory, reasoning and mental focus in adults.
I talked about an article I found regarding research being done at the University of Bologna in Italy. It was shocking.
They're using fluoxetine (Prozac) in studies with mice and have found that when the mice mommas were treated from Day 10 of pregnancy to delivery and infant pups were treated beginning with Day 2 through day 43 of life that their brains were "restored" to a completely normal level of functioning.
Even the mice pups who were treated throughout gestation and then for only 2 days after birth HAD COMPLETELY RESCUED AND RESTORED BRAINS. Yes, their brains were completely normal/typical. All brain regions functioned in the typical/expected fashion.
The article that I read to extract this information can be accessed here and while it has a good bit of technical information and clinical vocabulary, you'll get the idea.
I also found this article with some useful information in it.
The results are nothing short of miraculous. Now, on to human treatment!!
Here is my article called, "Will Prozac Help Your Child with Down Syndrome". Embedded in it are links for the Changing Minds Foundation and LuMind Research Down Syndrome Foundation.
This is a huge development. Stay tuned as we'll bring you all of the latest.
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At DrClaudia.net, click on the "Ask Me" button and send me a question.
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