Loss of neurons in the hippocampus (area of the brain where memories form):
Babies with Down syndrome lose 50% of their neuronal structure by 6 months of age. This seems like an insurmountable problem. In fetuses with Down syndrome, neurons fail to show normal dendritic development, yielding a “tree in winter” appearance. This developmental failure is thought to result in cognitive impairment.
Related Articles for Problem 2:
“Tree in winter” dendritic development
2010 Prozac (Fluoxetine) Study
2006 Prozac (Fluoxetine) Study
2010 Prozac (Fluoxetine) Study
Additional Information about Prozac
Remedy for Brain Problem 2:
In 2006, the University of Maryland School of Medicine treated Down syndrome mice with Prozac (generic name Fluoxetine). They discovered that Prozac treatment doubled the neuron count resulting in a normal level after 24 days. This is like increasing the hardware on your computer. It allows you to run more complicated software. Prozac received FDA approval in 2003 for ages 6 years and older. It seems clinically logical that people with Down syndrome could benefit from this drug because of the loss of neurons that occurs early and on an ongoing basis. Additionally, many people with Down syndrome commonly exhibit symptoms of anxiety and OCD early in life and depression later in life. Prozac can be used to address these issues as well. Participants as young as 10 months old are using the Prozac component of the protocol. Many young participants have been using Prozac for nearly 2 years without negative side effects.
Brain Problem 3:
Early onset Alzheimer Disease/Inflammation:
How do you lower the inflammatory markers safely and for a lifetime in a syndrome that represents an Alzheimer model?
Related Articles for Problem 3:
Omega 3, 6, 9 Oil
Minocycline and Ts65Dn
Inflammation Resolution and Lipids
Remedy for Brain Problem 3:
There is tremendous evidence that Alzheimer's disease is a state of chronic inflammation, specifically neuroinflammation. Inflammation is the body's natural response to injury or assault. It begins the healing process. There is a flip side to inflammation called resolution. Resolution is an 'active' process with specific chemicals that clears and limits the inflammatory response. A recent study from Harvard identified chemicals that reduce or control the magnitude of the inflammatory response. These chemicals are called Specialized Pro-resolving Mediators (SPM). These chemicals are derived from lipids, in other words, fatty acids – thus the importance of Body Bio Oil and Phosphatidyl Choline. You want your body to make these SPM's. SPM's include resolvins, protectins and maresins and are biosynthesized from essential omega-3 fatty acid precursors. The CMF's protocol aims to decrease inflammation by using fatty acids such as Phosphatidyl Choline (PC), Sunflower oil and Flaxseed oil. When used in the correct ratios they provide a safe, effective way to lower C-reactive protein, Interleukin 1 and Tumor Necrosis Factor which can contribute to inflammatory processes in the brain. Phosphatidyl Choline is a phospholipid that makes up 50%of the cell membrane. The membrane is the lining of every nerve cell that carries our signals. PC is a safe and essential fatty acid that studies have shown to protect the nerves from damage. Sunflower and Flaxseed oils are known for reducing inflammation by triggering a “restoration pathway.”
Brain Problem 4:
Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter that nerve cells use to communicate. Norepinephrine has been found to be deficient in the brains of Down syndrome mice. Additionally, many children with Down syndrome have a lack of concentration and behavior problems (ADD/ADHD symptoms). According to an article by Dr. Joseph Carver, some studies suggest that children/adults (typical) with ADHD may have only
ten to twenty-five percent of Norepinephrine found in the normal brain.
Related Articles for Problem 4:
Stanford – Norepinephrine
Methylphenidate and Norepinephrine study
ADHD and Norepinephrine, Dr. Joseph Carver
Remedy for Brain Problem 4:
The benefits realized from adding a mild stimulant medication such as Focalin XR is twofold. First, stimulant medications (ADHD drugs) have been shown to enhance attention and learning. Second, ADHD drugs work on the Norepinephrine system! This type of medication is very individualized. Focalin XR works well for many people with Down syndrome. However, some individuals may have better results using a different stimulant medication.
Thoughts From Teresa Cody
“Do we wait until every detail is known? Did you know that no one knew how aspirin worked until the early 1990's? The details of biological systems are understood more today than any time before but why not use the information in real time? All of the medications in the protocol have been through clinical trials. OK, not specifically for Down syndrome but NO medication has been through clinical trials specifically for Down syndrome. For example, have you ever given your child an antibiotic? We know their immune system can be described at least, as different, if not immunodeficient. But faced with pneumonia or strep throat, the logical decision is to treat with a medication the rest of the population uses. Scientific research has shown that these medications should help correct specific problems in the brain. Problems current science indicates are present in the brains of people with Down syndrome. Some protocol participants have been using the protocol for four years now. The clinical observation of the 300 children and adults on the CMF protocol is that there is an amazing improvement of function including: verbal abilities, long term memory, working memory, gross motor and fine motor. What part of this do you not want?”
Frequently Asked Questions
1.) Is the CMF protocol the solution to all brain problems associated with Down syndrome? No – but it is a start. It is something we can do now to improve cognition as demonstrated by current protocol users.
2.) Will the CMF protocol make my child learn as well as a typically developing child? No – but it does allow most participants to learn and comprehend better than before - now.
3.) Where can I find suggested dosing information? You can find a Dose Chart at http://www.changingmindsfoundation.org/documents/dose_chart.html
4.) How much does the CMF protocol cost? Ginkgo Biloba is widely available, over the counter. It is a standardized formula, so the quality is consistent from brand to brand. A quick internet search found a bottle of GB with 100 capsules for $12.99 from one company. Prozac, generic name Fluoxetine, is available by prescription only. You can get a 30 day supply at most pharmacies for about $4. The cost of prescription ADHD drugs vary – generic drugs are cheaper than name brand. The recommended Body Bio Oils are the
expensive part of the protocol: Phosphatidyl Choline – 100 softgels $62 or a 8 ounce bottle $94, Body Bio Balance Oil (Omega 3,6,9) – 180 softgels $30, 16 ounce bottle $26. Other brands of Phosphatidyl Choline and Sunflower/Flaxseed oils are widely available online and in health food stores.
5.) How do I find more information about starting the protocol? Read the links attached to this paper. They include a wealth of information and will answer many of your questions. You can also order the documentary film and see participants as they are followed while on the protocol (available at http://www.changingmindsfoundation.org/ ).
6.) How long does the protocol work? Do the kids plateau after being on it for a period of time? According to the CMF, the kids who have been on the protocol the longest are still advancing and learning new things all the time. Just like any medicine, the dosage of these medications have to be rebalanced with time and growth. Be sure to click on “Success Stories” on the CMF's web page for further information.
7.) How do I present this information to my doctor? You can take a copy of this article along with printed copies of the referenced articles linked throughout. Organize the information in a folder and leave it for your doctor to review. Schedule a follow up appointment to discuss after he/she has had time to read the information.
8.) More questions? Contact the Changing Minds Foundation at
Research Needs Funding –
You Can Help – NOWWe, as individuals, must take it upon ourselves to financially support cognitive research like that being done by Dr. Craig Garner at Stanford's Down Syndrome Research Center. If families do not find cognitive research in Down syndrome a worthy charitable cause, then who else will?
The Changing Minds Foundation currently has two opportunities for you to help fund research to improve cognition in people with Down syndrome. The first is a campaign called,
“Spare Change for Changing Minds.” You can read more about it and learn how to receive your cans for spare change on CMF's home page – click on 'We Can'
The second opportunity is to enter CMF's Ball Drop Contest. Purchase as many numbered golf balls as you want for $25 each. Every ball will give you a chance at a trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico!! On October 28th, at Wildcat Golf Club in Houston, all balls will be dropped from a helicopter hovering over the driving range. The first ball to land in the hole (or closest to the pin) wins the trip. The ball drop is limited to 2000 balls. Go to Golf Tournament and Ball Drop
Ask friends and family to support cognitive research by purchasing golf balls.
For Additional Information Please See the Following Websites
Changing Minds Foundation http://www.changingmindsfoundation.org/
Changing Minds Foundation's blog by Teresa Cody
Join Changing Minds Foundation on Facebook
Join Changing Minds Foundation's NING site where parents discuss the protocol and their children
Stanford's Down Syndrome Research Center
Join Stanford Down Syndrome Research on Facebook – keep updated with their blog