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Italian Journal of Intellective Impairment 1993 Abstracts
Performed immunohistochemical and Golgi studies on tissue from patients with Down's syndrome (DS) and senile dementia of the Alzheimer type (DAT) and from controls, from fetuses to elderly adults. Immunohistochemical studies on proteins, the genes of which are located on chromosome 21, revealed that the membrane protein OK-2 and beta-amyloid are expressed earlier and are more widespread in DS than in DAT brains. The overexpression and early appearance of gene products in DS brains may be related to the pathogenesis or predisposition to mental disorders or dementia. Golgi studies on the cerebral cortex revealed that the postsynaptic spines on the basal dendrites increased poorly in children and decreased rapidly in adults with DS, while they decreased slightly in DAT patients.
Argues against the position of most psychologists, educationalists, and rehabilitation professionals that the mentally retarded can be treated only with a psychological approach, even when there is a demonstrable biological lesion, as in Down's syndrome. This position is not only wrong but is damaging to the mentally retarded. The nonmedical and often antimedical ideology denies the possibility of biological treatment to correct a neurological dysfunction responsible for a mental pseudo-insufficiency. To prevent or discourage a possible biological treatment can cause the loss of many precious years during which the brain plasticity is still usable, at least as a possibility in developing dendritic arborization.
Studied the levels of mental development and of language ability in Down's syndrome children, and assessed the development of these levels over time. Ss were 43 children and adolescents (aged 3 yrs 10 mo to 17 yrs 1 mo) with Down's syndrome, divided into 6 age groups. Ss completed a battery of tests to determine language ability and level of mental development. 13 Ss completed these tests again 6-37 mo after the 1st testing period. Age differences were assessed.
The guidelines justifying drug therapies in Down's syndrome children are roughly reported. The starting point is the double series of symptoms in these subjects, one series directly related to the dosage effect of the extrachromosome 21, and the second series as symptoms of stress due to homeostatic inbalance the dosage effect of the extrachromosome 21 produces.
Since stress responses are peculiar to each individual, for genetic and acquired factors, related symptoms in Down subjects can be more or less present, quite indipendently from the type of chromosomal anomaly. A mosaic subject can show more evident symptoms than a pure trisomy 21 one, although only a share of the cells of his/her body is trisomic. Stress responses of one Down subject can be modulated by drugs, but the choice of the drugs needs to be tailored to the peculiar expression of stress symptoms this individual displays.
Studied the effectiveness of drug treatment in improving the motor abilities of 84 Down's syndrome patients (aged 7-15 yrs). The base treatment included 1-glutamine or 1-1 glutamine, piridoxine, tiamine, and diazepam with possible additions of pemoline, idroxitriptofan, and carbamazepine After 3-4 mo of treatment and again after 6-8 mo of treatment, Ss were evaluated by their parents and physician for improvements in walking, equilibrium, running, and going up and down stairs.