Monday, December 27, 2010

Off Topic a bit, but Very Important

I normally don't post stuff like this, but this is an extremely important topic.

There is a treaty put out by the UN called the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The US is the only UN country that has not ratified the treaty, which is a very good thing. This treaty would strip parents of their rights to their child’s education, health care and general raising of their child. It would give the rights that parents have now and should have to the child and the government. But, ultimately, if the child doesn’t agree with what the government thinks is best, the government will decide what is best for the child. This is horrible for our nation and will turn our country towards socialism.

We don’t hear about this on the regular news stations much, because most of the people pushing the ratifying of this treaty know that the average American does not want this perverted child’s rights.

But, there is a way to stop this, if everyone takes a stand against it. And that is in the form of a Parental Rights Amendment to the US Constitution. 7 Senators and 142 Congressmen are co-sponsors of this amendment already. But, the word needs to be spread more. This amendment would make sure that parental rights are not striped, even if the CRC were to be ratified.

You can sign an online petition at You can also see which of your senators and congressmen are co-sponsors of the bill. You can read the CRC and the Parental Rights Amendment at the above site too. also has a video put together called “The Child” that goes into all the details, implications and problems the CRC would cause, as well as how the amendment would help. You can get the video for free or for a donation.  I’d suggest you watch the video and also get copies to pass out to anyone you know who could make a difference. The direct link for that is{58D0E1F1-4EA2-45BA-9B40-941D71ED987F}.

The fact that some want the CRC to be ratified needs to be known and it needs to be stopped. If American’s do nothing, then our country will become like Germany in Hitler’s days – socialist and communist – and Americans will lose their freedom even more. The parental rights amendment is extremely important!

Please pass on to everyone you can.

Here is a short trailer on "The Child" documentary.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Recipe 11: Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yesterday I made 15 dozen gluten-free chocolate chip cookies. It took about 3 hours, which is why I don't make cookies all too often!

We made this same recipe for Thanksgiving and everyone really liked them. They're a hit this time too. And even made a good breakfast this morning, with a full glass of goat milk, haha!

I used the regular Nestle Tollhouse recipe just modified to make it GF.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yields: 5 dozen cookies

2 1/4 cups rice flour*
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
1 cup butter or margarine, softened (we use lard or shortening to avoid the dairy)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large egg
2 cups chocolate chips

*Note: We only used rice flour, but if you had any potato starch, about 2 tablespoons per 2 cups of flour would be a great addition to the recipe.  
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts.

3. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

4. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown.

The stacks of cookies cooling!


(Remember, you can print this off with the printer friendly button at the bottom of each blog post!)


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Vitamin E Supplementation

This study came through on of the DS listservs I'm on recently and I thought it would be a good study to share.

Cholinergic degeneration and memory loss delayed by vitamin E in a Down syndrome mouse model.

Down syndrome (DS) individuals develop several neuropathological hallmarks seen in Alzheimer's disease, including cognitive decline and the early loss of cholinergic markers in the basal forebrain. These deficits are replicated in the Ts65Dn mouse, which contains a partial trisomy of murine chromosome 16, the orthologous genetic segment to human chromosome 21. Oxidative stress levels are elevated early in DS, and may contribute to the neurodegeneration seen in these individuals. We evaluated oxidative stress in Ts65Dn mice, and assessed the efficacy of long-term antioxidant supplementation on memory and basal forebrain pathology. We report that oxidative stress was elevated in the adult Ts65Dn brain, and that supplementation with the antioxidant vitamin E effectively reduced these markers. Also, Ts65Dn mice receiving vitamin E exhibited improved performance on a spatial working memory task and showed an attenuation of cholinergic neuron pathology in the basal forebrain. This study provides evidence that vitamin E delays onset of cognitive and morphological abnormalities in a mouse model of DS, and may represent a safe and effective treatment early in the progression of DS neuropathology.

You can view the full text of the study here.

The Ts65Dn mouse is a mouse model of Down syndrome. It has been very helpful in doing studies on supplements and gene information for Down syndrome.

Basically, this study shows that Vitamin E can help alleviate oxidative stress, which is known to be elevated in DS. And therefore help delay some of the cognitive abnormalities seen in these mouse models. The cognitive abnormalities seen in both mouse models and individuals with Ds are elevations of amyloid precursor protein (APP), which causes plaques & tangles on the brain. This leads to Alzheimer's. Increased oxidative stress is also the cause of many cognitive and metabolic problems in DS, so to be able to lower that, is extremely beneficial. This study also found that Vitamin E can help with the problems that APP brings with it.

So, all in all, Vitamin E has a lot of potential for people with DS and is an excellent antioxidant (which was already known). O takes Vitamin E in his Nutrivene-D because of it's antioxidant properties.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Apraxia Issues

Well, I haven't kept this blog updated as often as I'd like, but so be gets busy sometimes :).

On the ES listserv, we've been discussing Apraxia in DS. How it's so common and very often times misdiagnosed. I thought I would put up an email I wrote in reply to one of the mom's with the symptoms of Apraxia that O has. If anyone has any questions regarding Apraxia, feel free to ask and I'll do my best to answer.

I'll add a short definition of Apraxia from Libby Kumin's article, 

"Although many children with Down syndrome show characteristics of DAS, it is a term that has not been used to describe the speech difficulties experienced by children with Down syndrome. DAS describes difficulty in voluntarily programming, combining, organizing, sequencing and producing consonant vowel combinations. DAS is a descriptive label used when a child's speech difficulty is due to planning the motor movements and sequences of sounds for speech."

Libby Kumin's article on Apraxia in DS is very helpful and easy to read: I'll quote some of the symptoms she has listed and explain where O fits in that ....
"# Struggling or groping when speaking or trying to speak. He seems to be working hard to talk, but the correct sounds are not coming out."
---O: This is true for probably about 50% of what O says. He talks a mile a minute with us all and says so much. But, most of the time the words are not said how they truly are supposed to be pronounced or said. There are a handful of words that he can say clearly with NO problems at all, but not every word is like that.
"# Inconsistency in sound and speech production. One time, he can say a sound or a word clearly, but at other times he has great difficulty with the same sound or word."
----O: This is very true for him also, but again not 100% of the time. Like when he first started saying one of our friend's names - Teresa - he could say it perfect with the T sound and all. Now, though, her name has morphed into "Hada." And that's what he says all the time for her.
"# Difficulty combining and sequencing phonemes. He may be able to imitate or pro-duce individual sounds, but when he tries to combine them into words, he has difficulty, especially as the word gets longer or more complex. He can say "ham," but when he says "hamburger," it may come out as "hangurber." "Banana" may be "nabana." Sounds and syllables are frequently reversed. This reversal is known as metathesis."
---O: This is the classic signs of Apraxia that O has the most of. There are so many sounds he can say individually correct. Or, even words said correctly when they are by themselves. But, combining them with everyday talk is somethin' else that only comes by repetition!


Thursday, December 2, 2010

A new Homocysteine study

This came through one of the DS lists I'm on and I thought it was a very informative study.  Having correct homocysteine is very important in DS, yet it is often times very hard to achieve. Especially since a lot of kids have a hard time taking too many methyl donors.

This is why O takes TMG & MethylB12. He is also sensitive to some methyl donors, as he can't take extra Folinic Acid.
Homocysteine concentrations in adults with trisomy 21: effect of B vitamins and genetic polymorphisms.

BACKGROUND: The effects of supplementation with B vitamins and of common polymorphisms in genes involved in homocysteine metabolism on plasma total homocysteine (tHcy) concentrations in trisomy 21 are unknown.

OBJECTIVES: We aimed to determine the effects of orally administered folic acid and of folic acid combined with vitamin B-12, vitamin B-6, or both on tHcy in adults with trisomy 21. The study was also intended to analyze the possible influence of gene polymorphisms.

DESIGN: One hundred sixty adults with trisomy 21 and 160 healthy, unrelated subjects aged 26 +/- 4 y were included. Plasma tHcy, red blood cell folate, serum folate, and vitamin B-12 were measured. Genotyping for the common methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) 677C-->T, MTHFR 1298A-->C, cystathionine beta-synthase 844Ins68, methionine synthase 2756A-->C, methionine synthase reductase 66A-->G, and reduced folate carrier 80G-->A polymorphisms was carried out.

RESULTS: The mean tHcy concentration (9.8 +/- 0.7 micromol/L) of cases who did not use vitamins was not significantly different from that of controls (9.4 +/- 0.3 micromol/L). Plasma tHcy concentrations (7.6 +/- 0.3 mmol/L) in cases who used folic acid were significantly lower than in cases who did not. Folic acid combined with vitamin B-12 did not significantly change tHcy concentrations compared with those in cases who used only folic acid. Folic acid combined with vitamins B-6 and B-12 significantly lowered tHcy (6.5 +/- 0.5 micromol/L). The difference in tHcy according to MTHFR genotype was not significant. However, tHcy concentrations were slightly higher in TT homozygotes among the controls but not among the cases.

CONCLUSION: This study provides information on the relation between several polymorphisms in genes involved in homocysteine and folate metabolism in adults with trisomy 21.


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