Megadose Vitamin Therapy & Down Syndrome Abstracts

Dev Med Child Neurol 31 (4): 532-537 (1989 Aug)

The Effects of Multivitamins and Minerals on Children with Down Syndrome

Bidder RT, Gray P, Newcombe RG, Evans BK, Hughes M
Department of Child Health, University Hospital of Wales

The effects of high-dosage multivitamin and mineral supplements on 15 children with Down syndrome aged between 7.5 and 63 months were studied in a placebo-controlled crossover trial. Active treatment was associated with decreased developmental progress, and various side-effects were reported by the parents. The only suggestions of benefit were parents' observations of improvement in general appearance and skin freshness. However, the parents were willing to continue using the treatment and to recommend it to other parents, despite the side-effects.
J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo) 35 (3): 181-92 (1989 Jun)

Vitamin Supplements and Purported Learning Enhancement in Mentally Retarded Children

Menolascino FJ, Donaldson JY, Gallagher TF, Golden CJ, Wilson JE, Huth JA, Ludvigsen CW, Gillette DW
University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha 68105

Dr. Ruth Harrell and her colleagues conducted a study in 1981 in which the administration of high dosages of vitamins were determined to dramatically improve the intellectual functioning of mentally retarded children. This paper documents the efforts of its authors to replicate the Harrell et al. research and, although no significant differences were found between active treatment groups and control groups at study's end, a thorough comparison is made between the two research efforts.
Exceptional Children 55 (4): 336-341 (1989 Jan)

Vitamin Therapy and Children with Down Syndrome: A Review of Research

Pruess JB, Fewell RR, Bennett FC

The claim that large doses of vitamin-mineral supplements benefit mentally retarded children has captured the attention of the general public and the medical profession. A study by Harrell, Capp, Davis, Pearless, and Ravitz (1981) reported increases in IQ and improvements in behavior among mentally retarded subjects (one third of whom were children with Down syndrome) receiving nutritional supplementation. However, subsequent studies, focusing exclusively on children with Down syndrome and using less flawed research designs, have demonstrated that vitamin therapy is not useful for members of this population.
Nutr Res 8 (11): 1251-8 (1988)

Micronutrients status of children with Down Syndrome: A comparative study of the effect of megadoses of vitamins with minerals or placebo

Justice, P.M., S. Kamath, P.W. Langenberg, H.H. Sandstead, D.B. Milne, G.F. Smith
University of Illinois, Dept. of Pediatrics. Chicago, IL 60612

Fifty children with Down syndrome between the ages of 5 and 16 years were included in an experimental study where half the children received a megavitamin and mineral preparation and the other half received a placebo. The children were in matched pairs for a number of physical and psychosocial variables. The study lasted 8 months and biochemical studies were done at the start of the study and repeated at 4 and 8 months. Blood plasma samples were analyzed for Zn, Cu, folate, vitamin A, carotene, B6, retinol binding protein, and RBC transketolase and glutathione reductase and serum proteins. Generally, no gross malnutrition was evident as judged by the mean values for most of the baseline laboratory data. No change in mental status was detected between the two groups at the end of the study. The blood values except RBC folate concentrations did not increase significantly on supplementation. There appeared to be an increased prevalence of low plasma zinc levels among the subjects in both the experimental and placebo groups at baseline which seemed to improve regardless of supplementation.
J Ment Defic Res 29 (3): 233-40 (1985 Sep)

A double blind study of vitamin B6 in Down's syndrome infants. Part 1–Clinical and biochemical results

Coleman M, Sobel S, Bhagavan HN, Coursin D, Marquardt A, Guay M, Hunt C

Nineteen patients with Down's syndrome participated in a double blind study of the clinical effects of pharmacological doses of vitamin B6 administration, starting under 8 weeks of age and continuing until 3 years of age. Ten patients received the vitamin and nine the placebo. In Part 1 of this study, no statistically significant differences were found between the two groups in mental age, height, weight, cranial circumference or tongue protrusion. A study of side effects conducted on a larger open population found vitamin B6 to be relatively safe when administered over long periods of time with photosensitive blisters as the major complication.
J Pediatr 105 (2): 228-234 (1984 Aug)

Use of Megadoses of Vitamins with Minerals in Down Syndrome

Smith GF, Spiker D, Peterson CP, Cicchetti D, Justice P

To evaluate the effects of megadoses of vitamins with minerals on the cognitive intelligence of children with Down syndrome, a two-group double-blind clinical trial was carried out with 56 school-aged children with Down syndrome. Children were evaluated at baseline, 4 months, and 8 months with a battery of standard psychologic tests, physical examinations, and blood tests. The two groups, which were well-matched is cognitive intelligence and other important subject characteristics at baseline, were not significantly different in intelligence and other test scores at the 4- or 8-month test periods. The particular megadoses of vitamins with minerals used in the study did not produce increased intelligence in the study population.
Pediatrics 72 (5): 707-713 (1983 Nov)

Vitamin and Mineral Supplementation in Down's Syndrome

Bennett FC, McClelland S, Kriegsmann EA, Andrus LB, Sells CJ

The claim that large, nonspecific doses of vitamins and minerals improve the performance of mentally retarded children has recently reappeared in both the scientific literature and the public media. This hypothesis was examined in a double-blind, case-control study involving 20 home-reared children with Down's syndrome between 5 and 13 years of age. Children were randomly assigned by matched pairs to either a vitamin/mineral group or placebo group for an 8-month study period. No significant group differences or suggestive trends were found in any tested area of development or behavior, including intelligence (IQ), school achievement, speech and language, and neuromotor function. No group differences in appearance, growth, or health were seen. No support was found for the orthomolecular hypothesis in school-aged children with Down's syndrome.
Am J Ment Defic 88 (2): 214-217 (1983 Sep)

Effects of Nutritional Supplementation on IQ and Certain other Variables Associated with Down Syndrome

Weathers Caislin

In a double-blind study, 24 Down syndrome children, ages 6 to 17 years living at home (IQs 30-67 at the start of the study), were given a megadose multi-vitamin/mineral supplement for 4 months. A matched group of 23 children received a placebo in identical form. The children's IQ (Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale), vision, and visual-motor integration (Beery-Buktenica Developmental Form Sequence) were tested before and after supplementation, and weekly checks were made to monitor behavioral changes. No differences were found on any measures as a result of supplementation.
Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 78 (1): 574-578 (1978 Jan)

Can Nutritional Supplements Help Mentally Retarded Children? An Exploratory Study

Harrell RF, Capp RH, Davis DR, Peerless J, Ravitz LR

To explore the hypothesis that mental retardations are in part genetotrophic diseases (diseases in which the genetic pattern of the afflicted individual requires an augmented supply of one or more nutrients such that when these nutrients are adequately supplied the disease is ameliorated), we carried out a partially double-blind experiment with 16 retarded children (initial IQs, approximately 17-70) of school age who wee given nutritional supplements or placebos during a period of 8 months. The supplement contained 8 minerals in moderate amounts and 11 vitamins, mostly in relatively large amounts. During the first 4- month period (double-blind) the 5 children who received supplements increased their average IQ by 5.0-9.6, depending on the investigator, whereas the 11 subjects given placebos showed negligible change. The difference between these two groups is statistically significant (P < 0.05). During the second period, the subjects who had been given placebos in the first study received supplements; they showed an average IQ increase of at least 10.2, a highly significant gain (P < 0.001). Three of the five subjects who were given supplements for both periods showed additional IQ gains during the second 4 months. Three of four children with Down syndrome gained between 10 and 25 units in IQ and also showed physical changes toward normal. Other evidence suggests that the supplement improved visual acuity in two children and increased growth rates. These results support the hypothesis that mental retardations are in part genetotrophic in origin.
Int Congr Stud Ment Retard 3: 224 (1964)

Treatment of Down's syndrome with a vitamin-mineral-hormonal preparation

White D, Kaplitz SE
JAMA 187: 361 (1964 Feb 1)

Treatment of Down's syndrome with the "U" series of drugs

Bumbalo TS, Morelewicz HV, Berens DL