Last November there were headlines that read, "A Fix for Down Syndrome Brains" and " Norepinephrine Boosts Memory in Down Syndrome Mouse Mode" and "Norepinephrine could Reverse Down syndrome".
This was and is fantastic. Looking at the study out of Stanford University, Salahi et al. found that increasing the neurotransmitter, norepinephrine (NE), increased contextual learning. They gave the DS mouse a drug called L-DOPS, which increases norepinephrine and epinephrine. This drug is used in kidney dialysis patients for hypotension. So, it increases blood pressure. What an interesting choice. One would not readily use that drug in children or adults with Down syndrome.
But there are a whole group of drugs that one would use in children and adults. They have been used for 50 years in thousands of children, and they also increase Norepinephrine. What kind of drugs could these be?
Ritalin was introduced in 1960. It was not known at that time how the drug worked, but it is now. It increases the levels of Norepinephrine! According to the Stanford study published November 2009, the Down syndrome mouse model benefitted from increased NE. So, maybe all children and adults with DS would benefit from ADHD meds? Not that they are all diagnosed ADD/ADHD, but this may be the next layer of the brain 'onion'.
F.Y.I. --- Other well known ADD/ADHD drugs are Concerta, Vivance, Focalin XR, Metadate, and Desoxyn