Cough Syrup Down Syndrome Treatment Re-examined

cold syrup down syndrome

A cough syrup Down Syndrome treatment may be on the horizon, as researchers say a “key ingredient” in common cold remedies could assist in increasing certain abilities affected by the chromosomal disorder.

The cough syrup Down Syndrome link goes back to old research when a component of the common over the counter medications was used as a treatment for dementia.

Researchers at Monash University in Australia have reopened the cough syrup Down Syndrome treatment angle, but the ingredient — BTD-001 — has been in use since the 1920s. Hardly a new innovation, but one that had been used beginning in the 50s and 60s for treatment of cognitive difficulties.

Associate Professor at Monash, Bob Davis, heads the center for Developmental Disability Health. Davis explains that the cough syrup Down Syndrome treatment idea stems from previous use of the medication, deemed relatively safe, for related symptons.

Davis says that while BTD-001 had been used extensively for a range of complaints, the drug testing capabilities of modern medicine did not exist back when it was commonly used for cognitive issues:

“In the 1950s and 60s it was used … as an ingredient for a drug for people with dementia. People with dementia seemed to improve their memory and … cognitive ability, so the ability to think … At that stage the medication had been shown to be safe and while there were some small studies indicating that it seemed to work, it didn’t have the large drug trials that are required nowadays.”

It’s thought the cough syrup Down Syndrome benefits could come due to the reduced conductivity and memory related difficulties associated with the disorder, and the ability of BTD-001 to affect those factors.

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But Catherine McAlpine, of Down Syndrome Australia, told ABC that such research regarding cold syrup and Down Syndrome must be handled carefully:

“There are very few research projects into helping people with Down Syndrome and the primary area of research is in prenatal testing which has its own ethical boundaries and ethical issues … Clearly, if we can do things that help people with Down Syndrome be more independent, then that’s a good thing for everyone.”

McAlpine adds:

“But it can be a little bit complicated when we are talking about quality of life and increased cognition being one and the same because they’re not the same thing.”

Researchers in the U.S. have also examined the potential of cold syrup as a Down Syndrome treatment.