Down syndrome patients commonly have problems like congenital heart defects, hypothyroidism, eye, and ear problems. Once they are diagnosed, treatment can be started.
Treatment can mainly be divided into drug treatment or physiotherapy. Later in life, counselling and occupational therapy, (OT) can help the child build up life skills as well as handle emotional issues.
Treatment of heart defects
The heart defects are congenital, that is present from birth. Heart abnormalities such as transposition of the great arteries, atrioventricular septal defect, ventricular septal defect, truncus arteriosus, ductus arteriosus, tetralogy of Fallot, can be treated by surgical procedures during infancy. Other complex ones such as hypoplastic left heart syndrome and tricuspid atresia, need more operations than the simpler ones. But still these problems might persist, although in lesser magnitudes.
Surgical procedures are not the only options, other techniques like valvuoplasty can be used to remove obstructions in blood vessels. Another procedure called transcatheter device occlusion may be used to close abnormal openings or holes within the heart or blood vessels (such as in patent ductus arteriosus, atrial septal defects, and ventricular septal defects) without requiring surgery.
Treatment of hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism, a common disease among the Down syndrome patients can be treated by administering Levothyroxine, a thyroid hormone pill. This in most cases should be taken for the rest of one's life. This medicine has the same composition as that of the hormone secreted by the endocrine glands.
Treatment of Epilepsy
In order to treat epilepsy, anticonvulsants must be used. Anticonvulsants are made to decrease the number of seizures through increasing the effectiveness of the inhibitory part of the brain. Most cases of epilepsy are controlled by either one kind of anticonvulsant or a combination of anticonvulsants. There is also a certain diet that seems to have the anticonvulsant effect, known as the Ketogenic diet.