Fantastic!!!! A study from Stanford University was released this week showing that when certain chemicals were increased to a more normal level in the brains of the Down Syndrome mouse, the mouse learned better. The idea that medicine can improve function is the entire theory behind the Changing Minds protocol.
They increased a chemical called norepinephrine which is a neurotransmittor. A neurotransmittor is a chemical that literally jumps across from the end of one nerve to the beginning of another nerve.
The study gave the Down syndrome mouse a drug called droxidopa which is an orally active norepinephrine precursor used for the treatment of orthostatic hypotension. Hypotension is abnormally low blood pressure.
Increasing norepinephrine is a known treatment for other situations. It is used in Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, depression and hypotension. Norepinephrine cannot cross into the brain directly so medicines are used to increase it indirectly.
Increasing norepinephrine in the hippocampus (area of memory and learning in the brain) enhanced cognition in the Down syndrome mouse. So why not use a medicine that increases norepinephrine AND has been used in children for 50 years???? That medicine would be ADHD meds, such as Focalin, Concerta, etc. Why use a medicine that you would have to start from scratch with clinical trials?
We at Changing Minds Foundation have seen real improvement adding ADHD medication for our children with Down syndrome. What this study does, is back up with laboratory findings what we already have seen with the children on the Changing Minds protocol.