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Lakshmi KT, Surekha RH, Srikanth B, Jyothy A
Correspondence: Dr Jyothy Akka, email@example.com
Introduction Down syndrome (DS) children have different degrees of developmental abnormalities associated with mental retardation. A cascade of pathological changes triggering alterations in cholinesterase-mediated functions seems to be the cause of neuronal and muscular dysfunctions, such as memory loss, disturbed cognitive skills, and language impairment in virtually all DS individuals, but there are currently no efficacious biomedical treatments for these central nervous system-associated impairments. The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of nutritional supplementation on cholinesterases in serum of DS children.
Methods Activities of acetyl- and butyrylcholinesterase were analysed in the serum samples of 40 DS children, along with an equal number of age- and sex-matched controls under study.
Results The activities of serum acetyl- and butyrylcholinesterase were found to be low in DS children before nutritional supplementation, compared to controls, and showed considerable improvement after six months of supplementation of zinc in combination with antioxidant vitamins and minerals. A significant improvement was also observed in cognitive skills and behavioural patterns after nutritional supplementation.
Conclusion The present pilot study suggests the significance of early intervention with nutritional supplementation in DS children to ameliorate the severity of this disorder.
Keywords: acetylcholinesterase, butyryl-cholinesterase, Down syndrome, nutritional supplementation, serum cholinesterase
Singapore Med J 2008; 49(7): 561-564