Sunday, November 29, 2009

Discovery Health

I visited Discovery Health Channel online tonight because I wanted to send them an email. I was watching a program called "I didn't know I was pregnant" and thought it was fascinating to listen to the stories of these unsuspecting women who had "mysterious" symptoms and ended up in the hospital having a baby without ever knowing they were pregnant! One story was of a woman who had been dealing with ovarian cysts and was told she'd never get pregnant. Much to her surprise, her terrible pain was actually labor and she delivered a healthy baby girl. She was worried (after her shock!) that the baby had Ds because the baby was 4 weeks early and the doctor told her the baby had "signs" of Ds. Everyone was so worried and afraid that she wouldn't be "perfect" and that there would be "something wrong." But good news! The baby was just fine, nothing was wrong and she was indeed, perfect. This is not the first time I have watched a pregnancy-related program and heard the usage of "the possibility of Down syndrome" as the looming end-of-the-scene-break-to-commerical tag that is supposed to leave every viewer on the edge of their seats... only to have the end of the program reveal the "good news" I hate this! So I was going to send the network a little note to let them know that they really shouldn't do that. Having a baby with Ds is more often than not a very positive experience which brings enormous blessing and joy to the lives of the families who have them. They should really be showing Ds in the same way that they and other networks tell human interest stories of multiple births, little people, same-sex families adopting or artificially inseminating to have families of their own and so on. Well all that to say that as I was searching for the "contact us" link, I found this very interesting article and wondered if anyone had heard of it yet? For Kids With Down Syndrome, a 'Ray of Hope' on 11/19/2009 THURSDAY, Nov. 19 (HealthDay News) -- New research may provide the foundation for future medical treatment of memory deficits associated with Down syndrome. The research was conducted in mice that were genetically engineered to have a condition similar to Down syndrome, a genetic disorder. It is still not clear if humans would benefit from the findings. Still, the researchers found that mice with the syndrome-like condition could use their brains more effectively when the signaling of norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter that helps nerve cells communicate, was boosted. "If you intervene early enough, you will be able to help kids with Down syndrome to collect and modulate information," Dr. Ahmad Salehi, the study's primary author, said in a news release from Stanford University Medical Center. "Theoretically, that could lead to an improvement in cognitive functions in these kids." Salehi, a research health science specialist at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, in California, was a senior scientist at Stanford when the study was conducted. The study found that the mice did better on cognitive tests such as nest-building -- in fact, as well as normal mice -- after getting drugs that boosted norepinephrine levels. "We were very surprised to see that, wow, it worked so fast," Salehi said. The results were published Nov. 18 in Science Translational Medicine. The study results give "a ray of hope and optimism for the Down syndrome community for the future," Dr. Melanie Manning, director of the Center for Down Syndrome at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, said in the news release. Pretty cool, I think. But I'm still going to send that email. :)

1 comment:

  1. Don't you wish everyone had the knowledge that we have. We are TRULY BLESSED! Thanks for stopping by my blog today. HUGS