Down syndrome: The Building Strength Approach Part II (RESULTS)

Unlike Americans and residents of other developed countries, Nigerians unfortunately do not have access to the facilities, the experts, the infrastructure, the therapists – speech, behavioral, occupational, physical, etc – required to adequately treat Down syndrome and other brain disorders.

In some ways this may actually constitute a distinct advantage, as it places us in a position in which we are, in a way, forced to pay greater attention to the basics; the laws that govern human health. Interventions such as the Building Strength Approach help us do just that, and in applying this approach, we have been gaining a better understanding (and appreciation) of human potential.

And we are beginning to see just how far the body can actually go in healing, repairing and restoring itself.

Ahmed’s case is a classic example. When we were first introduced to him (see previous email), he was a ten year old lad who couldn’t speak or understand language, was hyperactive, and who would frequently (and without warning) wet himself with very offensive, foul smelling urine.

Within a few weeks, and without toilet training, speech therapy or any kind of therapy for that matter, we have been able to show that he can improve…drastically, all because his body was given the tools it needed to do its work.

And we are seeing similar results with the other two children as well…

So here’s what we know about Down syndrome:

1. Probiotics help: More and more research is coming out on the influence gut (or the digestive system) has on brain function. Gut microbes play a huge part in behavior, emotions and yes, cognition. Giving patients a good quality probiotic has helped improve their overall mental health.

2. Minerals: Zinc has been called the “smart” mineral, and it has been found to be involved in almost every aspect of brain growth and development. DS kids are lacking. We just give a good quality multivitamin and mineral supplement to cover all the bases, if you will.

3. Omega 3 fatty acids: 60% of your brain’s dry weight is made up of omega 3 fatty acids, making it probably the single most important nutrient for brain structure and function. It simply doesn’t make sense not to include it in the management of brain disorders…of ANY kind.

4. Supplements containing Choline and other key brain nutrients: Over and over again we have heard this statement from parents of children with brain challenges: “My child just seems to love eating eggs.”

And it isn’t the egg white, mind you…it’s the egg yolk; always the yolk.

Why do you think this is so? One word: Choline.

In 1998 the National Academy of Sciences, USA, issued a report identifying choline as a required nutrient for humans and recommended daily intake amounts.

And here’s what we know: “A thriving mental environment with higher levels of Acetylcholine can be more conducive to better memory, recall of facts, feelings of mental clarity, the ability to reason and articulate thoughts clearly, coherent verbal skills, and logical thinking. All of this begins with healthy amounts of Acetylcholine, which in turn requires choline to produce.”

So here’s a tip: if your child is performing sub-par mentally or emotionally, give them eggs, preferably soft boiled ones. If you can afford them, there are nutraceuticals that contain choline along with other key brain nutrients that we have been found to be super effective with these kids.

Here’s some research for the geeks/nerds out there: CHOLINE In DOWN SYNDROME

Next month, we’ll be tackling what I consider the most challenging of mental health conditions in children: Autism.

Would love to here your thoughts on how we are doing so far (too much info? Not enough? Too technical?), so please let us know.

Our goal this year is to make a significant difference in at least five hundred kids with brain health challenges and sickle cell disease by providing them with these life saving nutraceuticals, all free of charge. Your support would help us meet and possibly exceed that number.