By Dixie Lawrence, MS, Phd
I recently received a very long e-mail from a mother who was genuinely trying to understand why I am not open to therapies that do not stress the inhibition or manipulation of genes and proteins. After all was said and done, the essence was that somehow my insistence on treating DS as a gene over expression disease made some people feel “uncomfortable “. Since I KNOW Down syndrome is a gene overdose disease, I simply cannot be both honest with parents and “tone down” that rhetoric. Rather, let me emphasize this very, very important fact for you.
But for the extra DNA carried on the critical region of chromosome 21, your children WOULD NOT have Down syndrome. It is always the DNA (those extra genes) that we must fight. What is wrong with other approaches who look at the urine or blood of the children and get it “perfect’? Plenty.
Let’s say, after examining your child’s blood work, a formula similar to the first following is designed.
Vitamin C 1000 mg.
Molybdenum 200 mg
Folinic acid 400mcg
Etc. etc. etc. ad nauseam.
Then the next time the very expensive follow up test is just a little off so you add this and that and low and behold! Your child’s urine or blood work is perfect! Congratulations.
Why is that a bad idea? Which one of those components inhibits COX2, DYRK1a, CBS, SOD1, IL-10, APP, APOE, S100B, RCAN1, MicroRNA-155, MicroRNA-126b to name only a few genes? Which one of those components up or down regulates Glutathione, SNX-27, MECP2, Methyltetrahydrofolate, again to name just a few? I would be less horrified if only one had been addressed.
When you address only urine or blood work and completely ignore these genes, you have certainly spent your money unwisely. A normal blood test doesn’t mean a normal genome. Behind this seemingly normal facade chaos is occurring in your child’s brain. Like Dorthy in the Wizard of Oz, parents are being told to “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” when all along it is the man behind the curtain pulling all the strings.
So, yes, I am vehemently opposed to absolutely ANY therapy that fails to even attempt to attack gene over expression. It is all relatively useless. While your child may do well with only vitamins that match his or her deficits, or neuro generative therapies that help the child, truly, help, in so many ways – without addressing gene over expression in the end you have accomplished only temporary benefits. Why? Because the man behind the curtain, those nasty genes have themselves ignored these efforts. Nothing has inhibited them, not one thing has stopped or even interfered with their malicious and constant cranking out proteins that are slowly destroying your child’s brain. Parents, without going after those genes, you are enjoying a comfortable but false sense of security.
I am equally as disturbed by practitioners who tout that these excess genes really do not matter if the urine and blood are normal or if the child is presently learning. Of course they matter! I know of not one single scientist, whatever the field, who would argue that they do not. Virtually every single research project designed to help people with DS is geared toward designing drugs that down regulate a gene or normalize a neurotransmitter, upregulating a protein. It is a recognized, established FACT that the only way to actually ‘treat’ DS is to either get rid of the extra chromosomes or to inhibit their gene products, to normalize neurotransmitters, to go after the problem of under expressed or over expressed proteins.
Where we, as scientists, differ from our peers and colleagues is that, rather than spend millions creating drugs, we spend very little and utilize what nature has already designed. We can do so much more with nutraceuticals than will ever be accomplished with pharmaceuticals because they are safer and rather than only addressing a single target, as drugs can, we can go after as many genes and proteins as the Good Creator has provided a natural substance to counter. Just as nature itself works in a beautiful orchestrated synergy, so does Targeted Nutritional Intervention.
I do want to make one thing perfectly clear, AFTER addressing gene over expression, because every child is unique, it is certainly a good idea to address any individual deficiencies that may remain as long as doing so does not interrupt TNI. In 99.9% of the cases, it won’t.
Neurodegenerative therapy is a blessing and very useful, so long as you address gene over expression.
Parents please do not ignore the man behind the curtain. To do so is to remain trapped in the land of Oz when where you must be is back in Kansas.