Douglas “Doug” Grant is a longtime public school educator whose experience includes 15 years as a middle school counselor and over a decade as a social studies and history teacher. Beyond his career as a teacher, Douglas Grant is an active supporter of causes related to Down syndrome.
Individuals who live with Down syndrome develop at their own pace, and medical treatment and therapies differ for each person affected. In addition to doctor-approved therapies taught in medical school, a variety of alternative Down syndrome therapies have been popular at various points. However, some have since been found to be quite dangerous, such as sicca cell therapy and the orthomolecular approach, which use a combination of minerals, enzymes, amino acids, and vitamins.
Other alternative therapies include the use of pituitary extract, thyroid hormone, and glutamic acid, among others. While proponents of some alternative therapies claim they improve cognitive and motor functions, scientific research on them is limited. Consequently, organizations such as the National Down Syndrome Society and the American College of Medical Genetics will not recommend those treatment options unless they have gone through extensive study.
Caregivers should carefully consider the source of the therapy and ask for research-backed evidence of studies that support its claims. If possible, speak with other families and and medical professionals about the therapy and its benefits and side effects.