Special needs adoption from a Jewish perspective.

Special needs adoption from a Jewish perspective.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

More prenatal help for T21 fetuses

Ongoing research on ameliorating the effects of Trisomy 21, either by disabling the third copy of the chromosome in stem cells or by improving brain development with a post-natal injection of a specialized protein, has been rocking the Down syndrome community.

Now another avenue is showing some promise:  Increasing maternal intake of the nutrient choline during pregnancy improves brain development and counteracts some of the delays experienced by individuals with T21.  In fact, these researchers suggest that most women are not consuming adequate amounts of this nutrient, possibly to the detriment of typical babies, as well.
Demand for choline goes up dramatically during pregnancy, she explained. Choline is an essential nutrient for all individuals, but pregnant women have an even greater need due to the demands of the developing fetus.  The most concentrated sources of choline are foods such as eggs and meats, but choline is found in many other foods, including vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower, Strupp said.
Whatever comes of this, I think it is positive that researchers are inspired to find ways to improve the quality of life for people born with Down syndrome, not just resorting to earlier detection and termination, as has been feared.

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