Down Syndrome & Dimethy Sulfoxide Abstracts

Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 243: 421-431 (1975 Jan 27)

Dimethy Sulfoxide Therapy in Severe Retardation in Mongoloid Children

Aspillaga MJ, Morizon G, Avendano I, Sanchez M, & Capdeville L
Department of Genetics, Calvo Mackenna Children's Hospital, Santiago, Chile

Since ancient times medical science has been preoccupied with improving the prognosis of brain-damaged individuals. One of the many types of mental retardation is Down's Syndrome (mongolism), known better today as trisomy of chromosome 21. Much has been written about various treatments of this condition with medical, kenetic, pedagogical, and even surgical procedures. The results up till now have not been very satisfactory. The discovery of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and of its clinical application for almost a decade brings new hope to these patients. Its great power to penetrate and diffuse without causing cellular alterations, and its capacity to potentiate pharmaceutically active substances dissolved in it, make this an ideal vehicle for reducing the required dosage of many drugs. This enhances their therapeutic value, while diminishing the possibilities of side effects. The penetrating power of DMSO allows such amino acids as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), gamma-amino-ß-hydroxbutyric acid (GABOB), and acetylglutamine, all of them important components of the Kregs-Henseleit cycle, to penetrate the meninges and thus to activate the neuronal function suppressed in many mental retardation syndromes. We might presume that the earlier the therapy is administered, the greater the possibility of improvement will be, as at the early stages the neuronal change is in full development. Investigation of this idea is the purpose of this work and the topic of the exposition.