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Parents turn to Prozac and other unproven drugs to help children with Down’s syndrome

| | August 15, 2016
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Drugs that change the chemistry and structure of the brain could boost the intelligence of people with Down’s syndrome…[However, s]uch efforts to improve brain function are controversial, with some activists saying people should be valued as they are. But some families have decided to give their children drugs…that have not…been thoroughly tested for Down’s syndrome.

Prozac has…been found to boost memory in Down’s syndrome mice…[S]o some parents have decided to give it to their child on the basis of this early evidence. Women are also choosing to take it while pregnant with a baby that has Down’s syndrome

“There’s a lot of hype. We have seen with autism that parents will do anything to enhance the cognitive ability of their child,” says Tom Shakespeare…We need more evidence about the safety and effectiveness of potential Down’s syndrome medication, he says.

But Shakespeare says that if such drugs prove to be safe and effective, they could help give people with Down’s syndrome more independence: “I’ve no objections to this in principle.”

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Parents giving unproven IQ-boosting drugs to kids with Down’s

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