New study discovers that Green Tea may treat Down syndrome
Down syndrome!! It isn’t a good thing to suffer from such a disorder and the saddest fact is that children are born with such conditions, which are characterized in their formative years by characteristic facial features, low levels of intelligence and retarded growth. The genetic disorder, also known as trisomy 21 is caused when there is a third copy, in part or whole of Chromosome 21 present in the body. A normal human would have just two.
The presence of a third chromosome 21 results in genetic over expression. This is what causes the typical characteristics of Down syndrome, such as a small head, tiny mouth, unfocused slanting eyes, flat face, poor motor skills and poor muscle tone. Patients also have impaired speech and poor language skills as well as impaired memory and concentration. The other gene responsible for such traits is DYRK1A. Researchers found that green tea may treat Down syndrome patients by reducing the effects of DYRK1A.
1 Down syndrome; A Rare Genetic Disorder
Considered a rare disorder as it affects 1 in every 691 babies born every year in the USA, which has approximately 40,000 cases of Down syndrome today. Down syndrome doesn’t have a cure. However, in what appears to come as hope to many, a research study has just found out that green tea may treat Down syndrome patients by improving the quality of life as well as their cognitive function. That is incredible!
It’s remarkable how science has given the fascinating tools of research in finding ways and means to improve life by the most unlikely methods. It also goes to prove how important herbal remedies and the benefits of nature can be in several diseases.
2 Green Tea Contains Beneficial Substances Such As Polyphenols
Green Tea contains a compound known as epigallocatechin gallate. ECGC, as it is also called; contains beneficial substances called polyphenols which are a class of antioxidants. The primary job of polyphenols is to boost immunity and protect the body against cell damage caused by free radicals. The research included 84 patients with Down syndrome aged 16-34 and was held at the Center for Genomic Regulation in Spain. The research was overseen by co-leader, Dr. Mara Dierssen.
The research was conducted over a period of a year where patients were made to drink decaffeinated green tea containing 9mg of EGCG. Some were given a placebo. Throughout the study, both groups were tested for various cognitive skills. In order to be extremely through and prevent biases towards the study, researchers, patients and even the families were not made aware of the scope and method of treatment imparted to patients. Brain imaging and cognitive function were tested at 3, 6 and 12 months and finally 6 months after the study concluded. The results were incredible.
3 Surprising and Remarkable Results
Those treated with the green tea actually displayed better cognitive skills and had scored higher marks in the tests, in comparison to those treated with the placebo. Improvement was observed in visual and memory recognition, mental focus and concentration, with the ability to avoid distractions, social behavior and practical skills. An ECG conducted on these patients showed improved nerve connectivity. Dr. Rafael de la Torre, a co-leader and author remarked that the researchers were surprised to find out the extent of improvement in areas of memory and learning.
Dr. Mara Dierssen also stated that while it was the first research showing how green tea may treat Down syndrome and how the characteristics of the disease could be improved from such a treatment, it couldn’t be considered an actual cure. However, it was certainly a potent remedy to alter and improve the quality of life. The path breaking study is a milestone in the right direction where several patients with Down syndrome can hope to be rehabilitated and encouraged in mainstream society.