This is the decade of the brain when amazing advances are being made in our understanding about how the brain encodes and processes information
Houston, Texas (PRWEB) January 29, 2009
A mother determined to enhance her son's learning ability has formed a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the mental capacity of persons with Down syndrome and to communicating the positive effects of a new treatment protocol for the condition.
Formed by Teresa Cody, DDS, Houston-based Changing Minds Foundation seeks to change the minds of the medical and scientific communities in considering treatment for intellectual disability associated with Down syndrome. The foundation also serves as a source for information related to a new treatment protocol that has changed the minds and lives of persons with Down syndrome by enabling increased capacity for learning.
"This is the decade of the brain when amazing advances are being made in our understanding about how the brain encodes and processes information," said Dr. Cody. "We learn daily that our brains are flexible and dynamic and can recover from traumatic injury. So I believe that science and medicine could provide clues and treatments for our children with Down syndrome."
Down syndrome is a condition in which extra genetic material causes delays in the way a child develops, both mentally and physically. Down syndrome occurs in one out of every 733 live births, and approximately 350,000 persons in the U.S. have this genetic condition, according to the National Down Syndrome Society.
After years of study and collaboration, Dr. Cody developed a treatment protocol for Down syndrome comprised of a memory enhancement herb, vitamins and pharmaceuticals that, when combined, have resulted in increased memory and learning for her son and other persons with Down syndrome.
When Dr. Cody's son Neal was born in 1997 with Down syndrome, she began reading medical and scientific literature and research studies about the brain, the condition, memory loss and more. In 2000, Jackson Laboratories in Bar Harbor, Maine, successfully developed a mouse model of Down syndrome. With these mice, scientists have made great strides in understanding behavioral, learning, muscular and neuronal deficiencies associated with Down syndrome in humans.
With research advances from Stanford University School of Medicine, the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the University of Sydney, Dr. Cody worked with doctors in Houston, Texas, to develop a treatment protocol that has enhanced learning, comprehension and motor skills in persons with Downs syndrome.
The Down syndrome treatment protocol involves six herbs and pharmaceuticals given daily at certain dosages depending on the child's age. In a test group of 7 children, all experienced an increase in mental ability, coordination and comprehension.
A documentary has been produced featuring the progress of Down syndrome children on the treatment protocol. Titled "Changing a Mind," the documentary by Sondra Martin Hicks has been shown at several film and video festivals and is nominated for several awards. Copies of the documentary are available on the Changing Minds Foundation web site at http://www.changingmindsfoundation.com.
"This is only the beginning. What is needed now are formalized clinical trials to test the true benefits of this initial treatment strategy and to develop better FDA-approved drugs that can help children with Down syndrome and other neurodevelopmental disabilities," said Dr. Craig Garner, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and co-director of the Down Syndrome Research Center at Stanford University. "We are excited to work with Changing Minds Foundation and Down syndrome communities across the nation to achieve these goals and to help those with Down syndrome enhance their development and functionality." To learn more about Dr. Garner's studies, visit http://www.garnerlab.stanford.edu.
For more information about Changing Minds Foundation, visit the web site at http://www.changingmindsfoundation.com. Changing Minds Foundation has produced an 80-minute documentary about Dr. Cody's relentless pursuit of treatment and results achieved on persons with Down syndrome called "Changing a Mind." A link to a trailer of the film is available on the web site. Changing Minds Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization.