There will be 200 locations to try this new drug, already approved by the FDA for use in treating Alzhiemer's Patients. Studies have shown that there is a link between Alzheimer's and Down syndrome, since an overwhelming majority of adults over 50 with DS also develop the disease. "That's the tantalizing question that has Belleville's Dr. John Boeren walking the line between optimism and overexuberance.
Boeren knows that several small trials suggest that drugs like Aricept and Exelon -- drugs already approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease -- appear to increase skill levels in children with Down syndrome in just a few months.
_Now, Boeren is taking part in a nationwide study that he hopes will confirm the preliminary findings. The study is open to all families of children with Down syndrome who are 6 to 17 years old and who can see, hear, communicate and walk. For information, call 234-2566, ext. 36, or go to www.downsyndromestudy.comon the Internet.
"I'm excited," Boeren said. "There's no promise -- and we certainly don't want to oversell this -- but here's a possibility that maybe for the first time we may be able to help these children a little bit."
Read about the trials here.