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Gifts : Mothers Reflect on How Children with Down Syndrome Enrich Their Lives

The Gifts Outreach program provides complimentary copies of Gifts to organizations which serve parents facing a new diagnosis of Down syndrome for their child, either prenatally or postnatally. We believe that the stories in the book provide a vital companionship and support for such parents.

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Monday, October 16, 2006

Vitamin Supplements Trial Results Out


The Institute of Child Health and the Peninsula Medical School, funded by the Down's Syndrome Association, the Down Syndrome Research Foundation and the Lejeune Clinic, embarked on research to find out whether the development and health of young children with Down's syndrome would be improved by taking certain vitamins and mineral supplements. Although they are not yet able to publish the full report from the trial, they have released preliminary results.

156 infants under 7 months were split into four groups. The first group were given the recommended daily dose of antioxidants, the second group the recommended daily dose of folinic acid. The third group took both antioxidants and folinic acid and the fourth were given a placebo. None of the families involved in the trial knew which group they had been assigned to. Of those 156 infants, 138 completed the trial. 18 children had stopped taking the supplementation, mainly due to side effects such as vomiting.

After 18 months the children's psychomotor development, speech and language development, growth and general health were assessed. No positive effect on any of these four factors was found by taking anti-oxidants, folinic acid or a combination of the two. (emphasis added)

Final biochemical results (which are necessary to explain the researchers' mechanisms) have been delayed due to a worldwide shortage of the reagents used to measure oxidative stress. This has delayed final publication of the trial results in a scientific journal, but the biochemical findings will not change the key results explained above.

Carol Boys, Chief Executive of the Down's Syndrome Association, said;

"We would of course welcome any supplementation that was clinically proven to be beneficial to the health and development of children with Down's syndrome. We are not pleased that these supplementations have been shown not to make any difference, but we are glad that the question has been answered. We are also delighted that the researchers have been able to, and will continue to, use the sizeable cohort of babies to develop other important areas of research. The team will soon be publishing the results of research conducted into families' experiences of being awarded Disability Living Allowance. They are also looking into language development and the use of signing, and other patterns of provision of health and social services."

For further information, please contact Marie Benton, Communications Manager at the DSA:
E-mail Tel: 0845 230 0372

Well, this should get the ol' Ds community going........and remember readers, this is from the UK where "Down's Syndrome" is used instead of the correct terminology of "Down syndrome".

Just so you know which "side of the fence" we are on....we researched the use of TNI and other vitamin therapies when Nash was born, and decided to go with the regular ol' multivitimin. He's doing great.


Anonymous said...

Great newspiece Jan thank you for sharing. I hope you don't mind if I link to it.

joe malone said...

any particular multivitamin that you use??

Mauzy said...

Joe- We used Polyvisol when Nash was a baby. Then Flintstones when he could chew a vitamin. Recently switched to Flintstones with no iron as the man was getting a little hard in the stool. I am sure he will enjoy his poop being discussed on the internet when he is older, but then, I have posted about much worse I am sure. How is your girlie doing???

Tammy and Parker said...

Jan, thanks for posting this. Actually, thanks for all you do to educate and advocate. It has helped me a great deal.