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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Could there be a Good Reason to have a prenatal diagnosis?

There might be a good reason for prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome and that is to treat the brain chemistry. Right now the only reason for prenatal diagnosis is to search and destroy. 90% of babies with Down syndrome are aborted. I heard a story the other day from a mother with a 4 month old with DS that saddened me. She said that after her baby was born a Physician's Assistant came into her room and asked her if she had had her prenatal screenings? What? What kind of barbarians are we?
Science is revealing so much about Down syndrome but we aren't using it in any practical way. Here is a study of the brain chemistry in 20 week old fetal brains of DS. They measured the neurotransmittors and found that serotonin, GABA, taurine and dopamine are low.

[Neurotransmitters are endogenous chemicals that transmit signals from a neuron to a target cell across a synapse.[1] ]
These are critical chemicals in brain development. We know how to increase serotonin. SSRI's serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
Taurine is increased by diet. It is found in meat.
Food sources of dopamine increasing tyrosine include almonds, avocados, bananas, dairy products, lima beans, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds.

Could these simple steps lead to better brain development in utero. We won't know unless we push researchers to take positive steps in treating the unborn Down syndrome mouse.

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