This scientific discovery could change the daily lives of people with trisomy 21.
Ua promising discovery. Nowadays, trisomy 21 (or Down syndrome) is “the most common chromosomal abnormality and the greatest cause of intellectual disability in the world”, recalls the federation Trisomy 21 France. At birth, these people have three copies of chromosome 21, instead of two. This particularity generates, among other things, a deficiency intellectual mild to moderate depending on the person, insufficient muscle tone and a shortened lifespan (the current median life expectancy is over 50 years).
Until today, there was no viable treatment to alleviate the physiological and cognitive effects of trisomy 21 for its carriers… But this is about to change. According to a recent study published in the journal Science and conducted by researchers from the National Institute for Health and Medical Research (Inserm) within the “Lille Neuroscience and Cognition” laboratory and the University Hospital Center of Lausanne, hormonal treatment would improve the cognitive functions of people withreports France Info.
Hormonal treatment affecting memory and attention
People with trisomy 21 are deficient in a specific hormone: GnRH. So, an experiment consisted in administering this hormone to seven trisomy 21 carriers. It was injected into their arms every two hours for six months. Results ? It was found that GnRH would improve the cognitive functions of people with trisomy 21 by 20 to 30%. After six months of experience, the patients demonstrated better memory capacities. Also more attentive, the subjects were more sensitive to the instructions given, and to their movements in space. A remarkable step forward.