I wanted to include more about the Why of GABA inhibition.
I cut n paste from the great Einstein- Syndrome blog here
"Teresa Cody, a parent and dedicated researcher, explains it this way:
You may not realize it but this discovery has turned the Down syndrome world upside down. All efforts to date have been aimed at increasing the excitatory transmission. In Down syndrome the brain activity is low, and the person is mentally challenged; the obvious answer is to increase the excitatory activity. But, the work at Stanford says it [is] the other side of the system that needs to be addressed reduce the inhibitory activity.
The researchers at Stanford have demonstrated that an excess of inhibitory signals is the problem. In other words, there are too many red lights in the system and making the green lights greener doesn’t help, we have to turn off some of the red lights.
[Miriam writing again] So, based on what was learned with this DS mouse, the hypothesis is that in DS there is too much inhibition—too many red lights. While the medical researchers design their studies and investigate a drug therapy to turn down those ornery red lights (the technical term is to find a “GABA antagonist”) our children need a solution now, or they will fall farther and farther behind.
That solution is Ginkgo Biloba. This oriental herb has been used in Chinese medicine for 5000 years to improve mental function. Ginkgo works as a GABA antagonist. Ginkgo turns down the red lights that inhibit the firing of neurons. No, this isn’t a drug. No, there haven’t been exhaustive studies to prove this. No, your doctor doesn’t have this as advice on his “standard of care” sheet for your baby. The major DS organizations have even released a joint statement saying, “BUT THIS ISN’T PROVEN!!!”
Right. It isn’t. The medical research establishment has a job to do. Studies have to be done. Many more mouse studies must be done to conclusively prove that in the DS mouse, Ginkgo Biloba results in learning. Following that are cautious human studies. They have to dot every i and cross every T. They must be cautious before they ever recommend any treatment for babies in this medically “at risk” population.
Finally, after the studies, and human trials, and grants, and fellowships, this body of information might percolate out to the major clinical treatment centers, and eventually to the family doctors…hourglass
…in twenty or thirty years.
You, the parent of a baby with Down syndrome, have a choice. You can do what scores of DS parents are doing, and conduct your own personal trial with this ancient herb.
there are links to the supporting studies, and who should not take ginkgo, here
You should definitely get a standardized form of Ginkgo
Richard from the DSTNI Yahoo group (highly recommend it http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DSTNI/,
along with the Einstein Syndrome list here http://einstein-syndrome.com/join
- well, he explains it this way.
All Ginkgo products must state following on the package labels:
"24% Ginkgo flavone glycosides and 6% terpene lactones"
"Ginkgo special extract EGb 761"
These two statements show that the product you are using is standardized. Use only standardized products, as their level of Ginkgolic Acid is reduced to under 5 ppm (parts per million). Non standardized products can cause serious allergic skin reactions due to higher amounts of Ginkgolic Acid content.
Standardized products also guarantee a fixed amount of terpene lactones, including Bilobalide, which is the active component in the therapy for Down Syndrome. If you are using a product that doesn't state one of the two above mentioned things, contact the manufacturer or discard it right away.
Dr. Leichtman the TNI advocate and geneticist who has treated thousands of kids/adults now, with DS over the past, say, 30 years, recommends starting no earlier than age 3 due to the slight risk of seizures in kids prone to seizures, like absence seizures especially which may be undiagnosed.
We began at 13 months and watched her carefully.
We use Honeycombs Organic liquid, it's yummy, give it straight. We have contacted the manufacturer and EACH DROP of honeycombs has 3.3 mg of active GB. Do not go by the label. The Dose is 5.5 mg per kilogram body weight, given either once, twice or three times a day. We have always used it one time, in the morning. There are a few parents who say it causes constipation by affecting the serotonin in the gut; we have not had any issues with constipation.
for kids who can take pills, GinkGold is another brand Dr. L endorses.